Story and photos By Wilson Conde
MIDDLETOWN – Bayshore residents put their snow removal equipment to work Sunday following the first major snowstorm of the season, which dumped roughly two feet of snow between Friday evening and late Saturday night.
Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante said the storm caused minor beach erosion in areas such as Port Monmouth and North Middletown’s Ideal Beach, as well as minor street flooding in parts of Port Monmouth, such as Main St. and Campbell Ave., but that no homes were flooded by the storm. Also, there were no reports of downed power lines or damaged homes, he said.
“I think we were lucky,” Mercantante said. “We did not get the same conditions as some in south Jersey got.”
Heavy snowfall and strong winds, and even blizzard-like conditions, were common Saturday morning and into the evening hours, except for a brief lull late that afternoon. The storm died down shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday.
Middletown Township said it was prepared to deploy 150 plows to clear township streets. Schools were closed Monday.
Erika Genovese of Port Monmouth said some of her neighbors were very concerned about potential flooding in the area during the storm. “People around the neighborhood really thought it was going to flood, but I didn’t panic,” Genovese said. “I stayed cool about it. It was all hype. Generally, that’s the way things are.”
North Middletown resident Edson Womble said he wasn’t worried about the snowstorm. “I’m not a run to the store and get milk and bread kind of guy,” Womble said. “The wind was the biggest surprise,” he said. “I did not expect the blizzard conditions to last as long as they did.”
For Ana Sotnikova, also of North Middletown, it was volume of snow. “Usually, when they say we’re going to get three feet, we get one foot. I didn’t expect the snow to be this much in one day.”
Tamatha Dominic, the business manager for All Phase Heating & Cooling, said the company prepared shovels and salt bags for the storm, and used a snow plowing service to remove snow from their property. “Whenever we see a storm coming, we’re already prepared two days ahead of time,” Dominic said.
Dominic also said the company’s technicians were able to repair the heating in customers’ homes on schedule, despite the storm. “We were out there all weekend,” she said. “We never closed down for a storm, never.”
Genovese, of Port Monmouth, said she enjoys snowy weather, as it provides for pretty neighborhood views, and makes it easier to reflect on things such as nature and family; and evens appreciates the snow-shoveling aspect of snowstorms, even though that’s not her most favorite thing.
“Snow shoveling is not necessarily fun, but I feel a sense of accomplishment once it’s done,” she said. “It’s a real good workout.”
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