GEARING UP FOR THE BIG DUMP

rb-plowRed Bank is prepping 11 snow plows, plus loaders and back hoes, to handle this impending snow invasion this weekend. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It may not rival the pre-Christmas pounding, but if the weather forecast is correct — insert wisecrack here — Red Bank and the surrounding area will be spending some time digging out from a substantial snowfall again tonight and tomorrow.

In Red Bank yesterday, borough workers readied 11 snowplows, with additional loaders and backhoes geared up to 24 hours on the streets to clear an expected foot or so of snow, said public utilities Director Gary Watson.

The National Weather Service says seven to 13 inches will fall tonight and tomorrow.

Watson said in addition to readying the plows, two crews have been scheduled to work 12 hours each — 2a to 2p and vice versa — and they’ll stay out until the storm abates, he said. There’ll also be workers out at 4a, if needed, to shovel sidewalks. And Watson has coordinated with the police department to help people get their cars off the street.

“That’s the biggest problem, people parking in the street,” he said.

Aside from the signs on some streets prohibiting parking when the road is snow-covered, Watson said there’s an ordinance prohibiting parking on all streets overnight during a snowfall.

So his plea to you, fair residents, is to not clog the streets if and when the big dump hits.

“They know it’s coming. If they can just move their cars out of the street then everybody is going to have a great Saturday,” he said.

As for hemorrhaging public funds to move all that white stuff and de-ice streets, it would be nice if this were the last big snowfall of the budget year. Watson didn’t have the exact figures handy, but said of the snow removal budget, “We’re really tight.”

Once the money from the budget runs out, covering the cost of plowing and removal comes from an emergency expenditure, he said.

“You can pay attention to your budget all you can, but snow happens,” he said. “You’ve got to do what it takes to get it done.”

Now, a brain teaser to work on while you’re snowed in: If there are 17 miles of road to be cleared in Red Bank, and 11 plows to clear a foot of snow off of those roads, when will the snow be gone?

Here’s the NWS forecast as of 6:30a Friday:

Today: A chance of rain and snow, mainly after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 37. Light north wind. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Tonight: A chance of rain and snow before 7pm, then snow. Low around 25. Blustery, with a northeast wind 5 to 8 mph increasing to between 19 and 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.

Saturday: Snow. High near 28. Windy, with a northeast wind between 24 and 26 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Saturday Night: A chance of snow showers, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Blustery, with a north wind 19 to 22 mph decreasing to between 10 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 31. North wind between 9 and 15 mph.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 19.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 32.