TOMS RIVER – Before winter storms, a lot of towns issue alerts telling people not to park on the roads so that plows can clear the streets. Now, police are telling people that they should not drive at all.
“We are reiterating our previously issued no driving alert,” said Ralph Stocco of the Toms River Police Department. “As the storm intensifies, numerous motorists have not heeded the warnings sent out. Our police officers are risking their own safety to respond to vehicles stuck in the snow, spin outs off of the road, and minor crashes. The vast majority of these drivers are not essential employees.”
Furthermore, when police ask why people are out in the snow, they are giving reasons that are not worth risking lives, such as buying items from a store or just wanting to see how bad it was.
Police need to be available to handle medical emergencies, he said.
“Tying up these officers unnecessarily could conceivably cost lives,” he said. “Please do not risk your health, our officers, or potential needless damage to your vehicle.”
The storm, with terms like “bombogenesis” and “bomb cyclone” attached to it, it has dumped tons of snow that, because of the high winds, have been hard to measure in inch count.
The National Weather Service has a blizzard warning until 7 p.m. A total accumulation of 12 to 16 inches is expected. Due to the heavy snowfall, visibility is less than a quarter mile, which makes driving extremely dangerous. Winds are from 25-35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph.
Many shore area schools announced their closure on Friday already.