By Christina Johnson |
MONMOUTH COUNTY – Snow and blowing wind is having a major impact in Monmouth County today. Throughout the day, blizzard conditions from a so-called “bomb cyclone” are making traffic difficult on snow covered roads, and visibility is low.
The heaviest snowfall is expected through noon Thursday, but is expected to continue through the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. By 10 a.m., some in Monmouth County were reporting 2-3 inches of snowfall on the ground. By dinnertime, there was as much as 10 inches reported in some areas. Wind chills are in the single digits, and expected to plunge to below zero at times for the next 48 hours.
Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency via Twitter in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May, Counties. Schools are shuttered Thursday and non-essential government offices closed. Closures are already announced for Friday. Extreme wind and ice forced the cancellation of the morning Belford ferry service runs.
A flood warning advisory was also in effect Thursday morning.
Sheriff Shaun Golden said in a FIOS1 interview at 10:20 a.m. that it was “treacherous out there” on the roads and the county’s fleet of snowplows were having difficulty controlling blowing snow drifts. He said there had been no major 911 calls.
Widespread minor coastal flooding is expected and floodwaters may freeze on road surfaces. The NJ Dept. of Transportation reminds motorists that bridges and overpasses may freeze before road surfaces. NJ Transit says it is providing regular weekday service, but cross-honoring bus and train passes. Speed restrictions have been imposed on the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike.
Northwest winds could gust 40-60 mph along the coast.
In Sea Bright, councilman Charles Rooney III cautioned residents to move their cars from side streets are risk being towed. He made an offer on Facebook to move cars if residents offer him their keys. Flooding is causing lane closures on Route 36 in both directions from both directions south of CR 520/Rumson Rd (Sea Bright) to North of Bay Ave (Highlands).
Early Thursday, power outages were reported in Hazlet and Monroe, but service has since been restored.
Delivery of the weekly Two River Times newspaper to local shops is delayed until Friday due to road conditions.
Tomorrow, snow will stop falling but winds are expected to persist with brutal windchills.
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