NJ’s ‘snow bomb’ hits NJ hard, with lots of crashes on the roads: LIVE UPDATES
TRENTON — What Meteorologist Dan Zarrow is calling a "snow bomb" has unloaded on New Jersey during the Thursday morning commute.
Many schools around the state have canceled classes, including a number of districts that initially reported a delayed opening.
State offices are closed on Thursday, and only essential state employees should report to work on their regular schedule, according to Gov. Chris Christie.
New Jersey 101.5 will continue to update this post on the storm's impacts through Thursday morning.
Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said the snow is moving out of New Jersey from west to east but the storm isn't quite done. "Pack your patience, because roads will remain sloppy through the afternoon. Furthermore, a cold brisk wind has been blowing all day. That fierce wind is expected to gust as high as 40 or 50 mph this afternoon, particularly across the southern half of New Jersey. Not only will that wind make the day feel even more blustery, but blowing snow will continue to obscure visibilities. Again, travel conditions won’t improve much in the coming hours."
State Police in a new tweet said they responded to 198 crashes and 226 motor vehicle aide calls between midnight and 11 a.m. on Thursday. Capt. Matt Horner said the roads continue to be dangerous with slush, snow and ice. "We're still stressing to stay off the roads if possible," Horner said. If you do need to travel, Horner said to allow yourself enough time to get to your destination, leave extra space between your car and the one in front and to give the plows and salters room.
NJ Transit bus riders can expect 30 minute delays due to road conditions. Cross honoring continues between trains, buses and light rail.
Power outages for JCP&L, PSE&G and Atlantic City Electric continue to be minimal.
State Police tweeted they have responded to 145 crashes and 148 calls for aide on their roads.
Snow totals from the National Weather Service vary from a high of 10 inches in Montague in Sussex County, 6 to 8 inches in Warren and Morris counties, 4 to 6 inches in central Jersey, an inch in Monmouth County to a half-inch in Mt. Laurel and across much of South Jersey.
"We're starting to see signs that the snow is slowing down," meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
Two major New Jersey roads are closed with jackknifed tractor trailers. Route 78 eastbound is closed between exit no. 26 (Rattlesnake River Road) and Route 287 in Bedminster. Tthe northbound truck (outer) lanes north of the Garden State Parkway in Woodbridge are closed as well. There's a third jackknife on the southbound Turnpike near exit No. 4 in Mt. Laurel blocking a lane.8:20 a.m.
"This is the 'brunt' of the storm. Things really won't get better until we get through the next hour or two," meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. "Snow totals are rolling in. Already above 5 inches in North Jersey! And we're not done yet!"
State Police Capt. Matt Horner, prepareadness bureau chief for the state OEM, said roads are pretty bad as the snow fell on top of ice.
"The roadways are slippery. Doesn't matter if you have four-wheel drive or not the road conditions are bad," Horner said, asking drivers to leave the plows room to do their job.
Horner said there have been a number of spinouts on the highways today the usual advice of steering into the turn may be hard because of the conditions. "If you find yourself going off the road or you get into a motor vehicle accident we recommend you stay in your vehicle, use your cell phone to call 911. We'll send a trooper or a police officer out to assist you. You don't want to become a fatality by getting out and getting struck by another vehicle," Horner said.
Speed on the entire length of the Garden State Parkway is 45 mph and the entire Turnpike is at 35 mph.
NJ Transit is still reporting 15 minute delays
Power outages continue to be at a minimum throughout the state
New Jersey Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Schapiro told New Jersey 101.5 there are 2,300 pieces of equipment out on the roads the DOT maintains, but the conditions are changing rapidly as the worst of the storm begins.
There may be snow on the shoulders of some highways. Schapiro asked drivers to be patient, exercise caution and stay home if you can until the height of the storm passes.
Power outage numbers for JCP&L, PSE&G and Atlantic City Electric are holding steady.
Numerous crashes are reported on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, including several in the northbound outer lanes of the Turnpike in the Cranbury area near the Molly Pitcher service area.
Speed on the entire length of the Turnpike is 45 mph.
Several Jersey Shore districts that initially reported delayed openings have gone to closings including Toms River, Brick, Manasquan, Berkeley Township, Central Regional and Barnegat.
PSE&G reported just over 700 outages mostly in Mansfield in Burlington County. JCP&L and Atlantic City Electric only have scattered outages in their respective service areas.
Speed on the New Jersey Turnpike was reduced 45 mph between exit no. 8 in East Windsor and the George Washington Bridge and on the Parkway from Asbury Park to the New York State line.
NJ Transit reports 15 minute delay on all rail service due to the snow. Also: system wide cross honoring is in effect between bus, rail and light rail.
Power outages are minimal around the state are minimal according to JCP&L, PSE&G and Atlantic City Electric's respective outage maps
334 departing flights from Newark have already been canceled for today according to FlightAware.com
Brick, Toms River and Jackson school districts have changed their status from delayed opening to closed.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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