Snowy Saturday Finds the NJDOT Ready to Roll [AUDIO]
Snow squalls and hazardous driving conditions late Saturday kept the winter of 2014 moving toward the record books as one of New Jersey's worst.
Swirling snow and temperatures below freezing Saturday afternoon had the New Jersey Department of Transportation plow and salter teams once again dispatched across the Garden State.
The plow operators work long, lonely hours under difficult conditions, but according to DOT spokesman Joe Dee, they're in good spirits and ready for more hand-to-hand combat with Old Man Winter.
"This is what they train to do, they're ready for it," he said. "We plan carefully when we hear about these storms moving our way, and our guys are ready. It has been a very busy winter, no doubt about it, but the crews have been doing really terrific work."
Dee said the NJDOT has already spent more than $42 million clearing the roads.
"We have used large quantities of brine and road salt," he said, "but we continually get replenished as the winter goes on. Whenever we're not out there plowing and spreading salt we're getting deliveries, so there's plenty of salt, and we're in good shape in that regard."
Dee stressed the DOT will spend whatever it takes to keep the roads clear and safe this winter.
As predicted by the National Weather Service, New Jersey experienced periods of steady snowfall Saturday afternoon, with the prospect of wind chills and lower temperatures overnight and into Sunday.
A Winter Weather Advisory was issued for Sussex, Warren and Hunterdon counties where 2-4 inches of snow was expected to cover roads and reduce visibility. Approximately 1-2 inches was expected along the Route 1 corridor with less than an inch for the shore. However, communities along the eastern coast of Monmouth County appeared to be experiencing more snow than predicted, creating hazardous driving conditions, especially on secondary roads by late afternoon.
Speed advisories for the New Jersey Turnpike were lowered to 45 MPH between exit #1 (Delaware Memorial Bridge) and exit #8 (Cranbury) due to blowing snow. The Garden State Parkway had a reduced speed of 45 MPH between exit #105 in Eatontown and the New York State border.
Newark Airport has experienced delays of an hour while Philadelphia has had 2 hour delays according to the website FlightAware.com.
Sunday is expected to be partly sunny with temperatures in the 20s.
Dan Alexander contributed to this report.