ON THE GREEN: BLIZZARD WATCH ISSUED
Broad Street in Red Bank following a December, 2010 snowstorm. Below, a forecast map from the National Weather Service indicates a snowfall of 14 inches is “most likely” in on the Greater Red Bank Green this weekend, but could range as high as 22 inches. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The National Weather Service issued a weekend blizzard watch Thursday morning for the region that includes the Greater Red Bank Green.
Late in the morning, crews from the Red Bank public utilities began laying salt brine on every street in town in an effort to keep the roads safe and delay the start of plowing efforts, DPU director Cliff Keen told redbankgreen.
“I think we’re ready,” said Keen, who’s overseeing his first snow challenge since replacing Gary Watson as department head last month. Most of the department’s staff was also on board for the 2010 blizzard, he notes.
Keen said he’s adopted Watson’s plan, including the low-cost brining, which “buys us a little time, depending on traffic, temperatures and sunshine.”
Weekend staffing is lined up, and plows will roll from the public works yard on Chestnut Street after about an inch and a half of snow has accumulated on road surfaces, Keen said. A private contractor is on standby, he said.
He said he expect that “the biggest problem is going to be guys dragging on Monday.”
Residents who have plowing or other questions about borough utilities during the storm are encouraged to call the department at 732-530-2770 and leave a message, which will be checked periodically. They may also call the police department’s non-emergency line at 732 530-2700.
The weather service issued three maps showing potential snowfalls, ranging from 5 to 22 inches in the immediate vicinity of Red Bank. The blizzard watch is in effect from Friday evening through Sunday morning, and warns of heavy, blowing snow and winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour, with the greatest potential for blizzard conditions on Saturday. Whiteout conditions are possible, it said.
Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 20 to lower 30 degree range.
Here’s an alert issued by the Red Bank borough government Thursday afternoon:
There is a winter storm headed for our area that could bring as much as a foot of snow accompanied by high winds and possible power outages. The storm is expected to be slow moving beginning around midnight in our area and continuing until Sunday morning.
In the event of a power outage, all residents are urged to notify JCP&L by calling 1-888-LIGHTSS. The more people that call, the higher the priority that area is given. Residents should not call the Police Department to report power outages, however, any downed wires should be reported to the Police Department immediately. Residents should not approach any downed wires as they could be live and cause electrocution.
The Police Department and Public Works are asking that all vehicles be removed from Borough streets whenever possible to facilitate snow removal from the roadways. All vehicles are PROHIBITED on streets designated as Snow Emergency Routes. Vehicles parked on Snow Emergency Routes will be ticketed and are subject to towing. A list of “Snow Emergency Routes” is posted below.
All property owners/tenants are responsible for removing snow and ice from sidewalks within 24 hours. Please see the relevant portion of our ordinance below.
Removal of Snow and Ice from Sidewalks:
Any owner or owners, occupant or occupants, tenant or tenants, building superintendent, rental agent or person in charge of premises abutting or bordering upon any public street, in the Borough, shall remove all snow and ice from the abutting sidewalks of such streets, or in the case of ice which may be so frozen as to make removal impracticable, shall cause the same to be thoroughly covered with sand or ashes, within 24 hours of daylight after the same shall fall or be formed thereon.
The Fire Marshal’s Office reminds everyone to never leave candles unattended and to use caution if using a generator. Please review the document below for generator safety tips.
The Fire Marshal’s Office also reminds anyone with gas fired appliances (such as furnaces) that vent outdoors at or near ground level to make sure that the vents are cleared of snow. Clogged vents could result in a dangerous carbon monoxide build up in the home.
The Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department is also asking all residents to assist with clearing fire hydrants as you are shoveling your property. This will help them gain access quickly should they need to respond to a call in your area.
Residents in low lying areas that are subject to flooding should carefully monitor the situation particularly during high tides on Saturday and early Sunday. Residents should be prepared to take appropriate action if flooding should occur.