WOODBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, NJ – All 21 counties in the state of New Jersey passed a winter weather advisory on Thursday as the Garden State braced for an overnight snowstorm.
Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency for the state, effective 10 p.m. Thursday.
It is the latest in a series of winter weather events affecting the region, and it has the potential to make the Friday morning commute difficult and dangerous.
As Director of Public Works for the Township of Woodbridge, George Brew is responsible for keeping nearly 250 miles of roads safe and clear. He said it’s been a challenging week from start to finish.
“We started on Monday, we prepared for a storm, it didn’t hit us,” he said, adding that another storm hit two days later. “We knew we were going to have possible ice and freezing rain yesterday, and we were ready for it, and here we are again today.”
As of Thursday, he had prepared 85 salt trucks, plows and other winter storm vehicles for the overnight storm.
People who live in the area have said they are preparing too.
Miguel Marrero was in the parking lot of a Lowe’s hardware store, loading a brand new snowblower into the back of his SUV. He said we’ll have to come on Friday morning.
“That’s why after 13 years in Jersey this is the first one I buy,” he said.
Local resident Kevin Harris was also at the hardware store and also had snowblowers in mind.
“I have two,” he said. “I have a driveway that is 150 feet, which is 50 feet wide. So I need help.
Ishika Pereira, on the other hand, said that although she had a small sidewalk and driveway, she had purchased an industrial-sized ice bin.
“It’s a lot,” she confessed. “I’ll help if my neighbors need it. I am prepared. ”
As of Thursday, the roads in this part of New Jersey had been sprayed with brine in anticipation of the storm’s arrival. This brine was sprayed onto the salty mixture strewn on the roads of northern Jersey on Wednesday morning when an ice storm struck, leaving dozens of crashes statewide.
Local road crews spent Thursday preparing for night shifts in Woodbridge. Brew, their boss, said they were ready. The same could not be said of motorists, however.
“[I] think it’s going to be a bit sloppy, ”he said. “We’re going to get there pretty early. “
He said his crews would work through the night and expect the snow to be thick enough to need to be plowed at sunrise, then work would continue all morning.
“We’re planning until lunchtime to keep things clear for people to travel safely,” Brew said.
As part of his declaration of a state of emergency, Gov. Phil Murphy advised residents to work from home on Friday, if possible.
Some people are like Michelle Maglione. She said she would be home all day Friday, after a full day of work Thursday. She stopped by the hardware store to buy salt and a shovel, but she also bought a sledge disc for her 11-year-old son.
She said she intended to make one more stopover before returning home to weather the storm.
“I’ll definitely go get some wine before the night is over,” she said with a laugh.
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