JERSEY SHORE – News reports are throwing around terms like “monster snowfall” and “bomb cyclone” again, so here’s what you need to know about this weekend.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning from 7 p.m. tonight until 7 p.m. tomorrow. This means snow accumulation from 8 to 15 inches and wind gusts up to 50 mph. The worst of it is expected after midnight through midday Saturday.
Included in this warning were coastal areas like Long Beach Island and even inland areas like Jackson. The storm is going to run up the coast, so shore towns are going to get hammered. Those who live in Jackson know that storms love to blow through the I-95 corridor.
Various experts are warning not to travel unless it’s an absolute emergency. Make sure you have enough supplies, like medicine and food, to make it until Sunday. This explains why the ShopRite in Bayville was packed yesterday.
Ocean County officials said they have about 200 trucks and other vehicles, and 175 employees getting ready to salt and clear roads.
“We started brining our roads Thursday morning,” said Scott Waters, Ocean County Road Department Supervisor. “Once the snow starts, we will put down salt and follow with plowing. We anticipate working throughout the night and during the duration of the storm until all county roads are plowed.”
But just because the trucks will be plowing doesn’t mean you should be there, officials said.
“Being on the roads during this kind of forecasted storm when it’s not necessary puts you in harms’ way along with our road crews, police and emergency responders that have to be out,” Freeholder John Kelly said. “Because it’s the weekend I urge our residents to stay home if you can.”
Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy said the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management and the Sheriff’s Department will be providing assistance to citizens throughout the storm.
“We ask that residents only call 911 when there is an emergency,” Mastronardy said. “Please do not call the 911 call center for information on the weather or road conditions, the lines need to stay clear for medical and public safety emergencies.”
The Ocean County Office of Emergency Management recommends the following for during the storm:
- Stay inside.
- Close off unoccupied rooms in the home.
- DO NOT use charcoal burning devices.
- Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Remove layers as needed to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.
- Set the thermostat in your house no lower than fifty-five degrees.
- Allow a slow trickle of water to flow from both the hot and cold water faucets, especially if the faucet is on an exterior wall.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes and appliances near exterior walls.
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and eat high caloric foods.
- Do not drive unless the roads have been cleared by snowplows. If you need transportation for a critical medical treatment or a critical prescription filled, call the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, Office of Emergency Management at (732) 341-3451 or toll free (800) 331-8152.