Here’s What You Need to Know About the Blizzard in New Jersey Today
The snow continues to fall, winds are picking up and roads are nearly impossible to navigate to start the day on Saturday as a Blizzard barrels its way across the state of New Jersey.
A Blizzard Warning is in effect for Ocean, Monmouth, Southeastern Burlington, as well as Atlantic and Cape May Counties through 7:00 pm tonight.
We could see 10-18 inches of snow -- total -- by the time the snowflakes are done falling by this afternoon here at the Jersey Shore, according to the National Weather Service, including places like Asbury Park, Toms River, Atlantic City and Cape May.
That's along with wind gusts that could eclipse 50 mph at times which may include some gale force winds along with it.
There remains a coastal flood advisory in effect for Ocean and Monmouth Counties today as well and flooding is certainly an issue to watch out for with a storm of this magnitude especially along the northern barrier island, LBI in Ocean County as well as coastal Monmouth County in particular.
The coastal counties in New Jersey are expected to have an extreme blizzard impact today, according to NWS.
Winds can cause a lot of issues today from power outages, to flooding, snow drifts and so forth but even by Saturday night, the wind chill up and down the Jersey Shore could feel as cold as -4 below zero, according to NWS, so that's another reason to stay indoors.
All these reasons and more are why the Jersey Shore and New Jersey as a whole have been in a State of Emergency since 5:00 pm on Friday night, as issued by Governor Phil Murphy.
“The anticipated winter storm is forecasted to bring heavy snowfall and high wind gusts statewide, with blizzard conditions in some areas of New Jersey,” Governor Murphy said in a statement Friday afternoon. “Road crews will be deployed throughout the state for salting and snow plowing purposes. Residents should take extreme caution, stay off the roads, remain vigilant, and follow all safety protocols.”
State and local officials are asking you to stay off the roads today and let the crews clean the roads but also to keep yourself and others safe and out of harms way.
“Troopers are ready to assist residents and commuters throughout the state, both on and off of the highways, for the duration of the storm should they be needed," New Jersey State Police Superintendent and State Director of Emergency Management Colonel Patrick Callahan, said in a statement. "We cannot do it without you, and we ask you stay off the roads if possible so plow crews can do their jobs. Please use caution when traveling and prepare an emergency kit for use at home and for your vehicle. Don’t forget to check on your neighbors and lend a hand if you are able.”
“Road conditions are expected to be treacherous with heavy snow and high winds that could cause white out conditions, particularly along the shore,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said in a statement. “Please stay off the roads to allow our crews to do their work safely. If you do have to be on the road – slow down and move over for highway crews, emergency responders, tow trucks, and disabled vehicles. It’s the law.”
As mentioned, with the wind gusts getting close to 50 mph today up and down the Shore along with coastal flooding concerns and gale force winds, make sure you charge up any electronics now and stay safe at home.
“We are facing a very serious storm with the potential for a significant number of power outages due to forecasted substantial snow and high winds” New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph Fiordaliso said in a statement. “Our only goal is to keep New Jerseyans safe, secure and warm during this time. We are constantly in touch with the utilities to monitor outages and their performance. We will make sure enough crews are deployed in the right places to minimize potential outages. If you lose power we urge you to call your utility to report it. Don’t count on anyone else reporting it for you. Lastly, I urge everyone to stay clear of downed power lines to avoid any unnecessary tragedies."
Don't park your cars on the streets, find a spot in the driveway or even on your front lawn, if possible, so crews can clean the roads, not accidentally damage your vehicle and so it's a more safe and passable road.
In fact, the New Jersey Department of Transportation said that they've been granted authority by DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez - Scaccetti to request New Jersey State, County, and Municipal Police to remove any abandoned or disabled vehicles on State and Interstate Roadways, all across the state.
The NJ-DOT also said that, all tractor-trailers, empty straight CDL-weighted trucks, passenger vehicles pulling trailers, recreational vehicles and motorcycles, except certain vehicles, are prohibited from traveling on Interstate 76, Interstate 78, Interstate 80, Interstate 195, Interstate 280, Interstate 287, Interstate 295, Interstate 676, and New Jersey Route 440.
Much in the way you shouldn't be driving anywhere today during the storm, even if you wanted to take public transportation, it's not an option anyway during the state of emergency and storm.
NJ Transit is suspending all bus, River LINE and Access Link services to start the service day on Saturday.
NJT adds that they expect service to resume later on today as soon as it is safe to do so.
If you have pipes at home that typically freeze in temperatures like the ones we're experiencing, New Jersey American Water suggests allowing "a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe."
NJAW also recommends, opening "cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help keep them from freezing."