Roads, power, NJ Transit — Essential snow information for March 21
TRENTON — Schools and state offices are closed and trucks are banned from some interstates as New Jersey faces its fourth nor'easter in March.
NJ Transit said its buses would be canceled at 3 p.m.
"The forecast is pretty much on track," New Jersey 101.5 Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. "The storm is really ramping up now, with heaviest bands of snow moving through New Jersey this afternoon and this evening. Don't expect much tapering until after 8 or 9 p.m."
By late afternoon the precipitation should be snow in all areas of the state.
Zarrow expeced about a foot of snow to fall with the "bull's-eye" for the most accumulation in a swath from coastal Monmouth County, the Brunswicks, Edison, Plainfield and into Plainsboro and Princeton.
"It depends on where on where the small scale snow bands set up," Zarrow said.
NJ Transit said bus service, including to and from the Port Authority bus terminal, will be suspended at 3 p.m.
Three concerts have been canceled for tonight: Demi Lovato at the Prudential Center in Newark, the Beach Boys at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, and Justin Timberlake at Madison Square Garden. Lovato's concert was moved to April 2 and the Beach Boys to Oct. 1. A new date for Timberlake will be announced; Thursday night's concert at the Garden is still scheduled.
State Police said since midnight they have responded to 27 motor vehicle crashes and 62 motorist aids such as flat tires, mechanical breakdowns and spinouts on roads that they patrol.
State offices were closed Wednesday and non-essential personnel were told to stay home by Gov. Phil Murphy, who issued a state of emergency to free up funding and resources needed to keep roads clear.
Travel is not banned, but a commercial vehicle travel ban went into effect at 8 p.m. Tuesday night on the entire length of Routes 78, 80, 280, and 287. The ban covers all tractor trailers, empty straight CDL-weighted trucks, passenger vehicles pulling trailers, recreational vehicles, and motorcycles.
Speeds were reduced on the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike and Atlantic City Expressway.
Many districts along the Jersey Shore are on a delayed opening.
As of 5:15 p.m the respective outage maps showed over 13,000 outages:
- PSE&G: 550
- Atlantic City Electric: 12,365 (mostly in Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties)
JCP&L said it has additional crews headed to New Jersey in anticipation of outages, with staging areas in Essex County and at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson.
PSE&G also has 600 extra mutual aid and contract employees from Canada, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York and Wisconsin on their way to assist . The utility warned customers to prepare for outages.
"The landscape is fatigued, the system has been stressed, and we’re expecting outages," said John Latka, PSE&G senior vice president of electric and gas operations.
- NJ Transit said bus service statewide, including to and from the Port Authority bus terminal, will be suspended at 3 p.m. due to the snow.
- A Severe Weather Schedule Level 1 will be in effect on its rail system on Wednesday with a limited weekday rail schedule. "We want to give our customers the opportunity to have a clear picture of just how much service we can offer and, more importantly, when their next train is scheduled," NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith said when the severe weather plan was announced.
- Cross-honoring is in effect for rail, PATH, bus and private carriers, and light rail service.
- Bus, light rail, and Access Link services are anticipated to operate regular weekday schedules as weather conditions permit.
- A modified schedule is in effect on the Northeast Corridor.
- 8,882 flights canceled in and out of Newark as of 10:40 a.m., the most of any airport in the country.
- "The number of cancellations going into today is significantly higher than advance cancellations for the previous three nor’easters (each had approximately 1,200). However, each of the previous three events ultimately yielded over 3,000 cancellations because airlines canceled a high amount of flights on the day of impact. Since airlines likely based their proactive cancellations for today on the results from the past three weeks, it is possible that we won’t see a sharp rise in further cancellations," FlightAware.com spokeswoman Sara Orsi said.
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