BRICK – As yet another nor’easter bears down on our area, the township was mostly spared damage from two back-to-back storms earlier this month, with reports of only minor flooding and a few downed trees, said acting director of the Department of Public Works (DPW) Ken Somers.
There was no need for the department to salt or plow for the first nor’easter on March 1 and 2, but there was some beach erosion, Somers said in a phone interview on March 8.
Before the storm, some four feet of the oceanfront steel wall was exposed from the Ocean Club south to 8th Avenue; after the storm, some six feet was exposed, he said.
The DPW had received reports of four downed trees during the earlier nor’easter, so workers were deployed to cut up and remove trees that blocked Sudbury Road in the area of northern Herbertsville, and another that blocked traffic on Kenneth Place in Laurelton Heights, Somers said.
Another tree fell on a car on West Drive off Princeton Avenue, and a fourth tree fell on someone’s shed on Azalea Drive, he said.
For the second nor’easter that began on Wednesday March 7, four to eight inches of snow was forecast for Brick, but then the projection dropped to two to four inches. The final snow total was 1.2 inches, Somers said.
The rest of the state got hit pretty hard, with some areas to the north reporting as much as two feet of snow, downed lines and power outages.
Somers said the DPW could not salt the roads ahead of the storm because it rained before it snowed and the brine solution would have been washed off.
“We had contractors on call, and then we cancelled them around 4:30 Wednesday afternoon because we knew we weren’t getting more than four inches, which is the amount of snow required before we start plowing,” he said.
However, on Wednesday evening until the early morning hours on Thursday, DPW trucks salted hills, intersections, the senior center, Town Hall, the Civic Plaza, and EMS/Fire stations to melt whatever snow had fallen and to prevent it from refreezing overnight, Somers said.
No school days were lost, but the district had an early dismissal on Wednesday and a delayed opening on Thursday.
The shore experienced an unusual weather phenomenon during the March 7 storm known as “thundersnow,” which is a thunderstorm accompanied by snow instead of rain.
Thunder is usually associated with warmer spring or summer weather conditions, but warm moisture from the south and warm offshore waters clashing with cold air, resulted in thundersnow.
According to the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, numerous lightning strikes were reported throughout the area.
Police Chief James Riccio said that aside from reports of broken tree branches and a few downed power lines, the nor’easters presented nothing out of the ordinary for the police department and no increase in accidents.
The police respond to the downed power lines and oftentimes the special police will sit with the live wires until they are repaired by the power company, Riccio said.