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Snow day! What to expect on NJ’s roads, mass transit Tuesday

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TRENTON — The blizzard of 2017 arrived right on time with snow falling across North and Central Jersey and a wintry mix of rain, snow and sleet and along the shore.

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“We’ll probably see South Jersey flip flop between rain and sleet/snow throughout the day. That mixing potential makes the snowfall forecast incredibly challenging. Someone is going to get a ton of snow (mainly north and west). Someone is not (mainly south and east). Where will that sharp cutoff line end up?” New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said early Tuesday morning.

Capt Matt Horner of the NJ OEM Preparedness Bureau said road conditions vary between northern and southern areas. “DOT has 2,500 pieces of equipment that are out right now. They’re both plowing and spreading salt,” Horner said. “When you get that mix you get ice inbetween what was snow on the bottom and the ice on the top it makes it a little more difficult for the plows to get to a dry surface.”

Meteorologist Dan Zarrow's forecast

Most public and private schools have closed in North and Central New Jersey.

Winter Weather Alert closings and delayed openings for Tuesday

FLOODING

Coastal flooding and a surge of 2 to 3 feet are a concern for the high tide cycle along the Jersey Shore between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. causing moderate flooding, according to Zarrow.

“It’ll be enough to flood the usual coastal roadways, that always flood during a major storm. Some road closures and lane diversions may be necessary, and property damage will be possible in low-lying areas,” Zarrow said.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said he was less concerned with Tuesday morning’s high tide than Tuesday night’s. “This evening’s tide is dicey depending on the wind,” Doherty told New Jersey 101.5 on Tuesday morning. “You’ve got serious, serious wind so if it keeps the water in here we’re going to have a serious problem.”

HIGHWAYS

  • No travel ban is in effect in New Jersey but Gov. Chris Christie, State Police and the New Jersey DOT urge everyone to stay home unless absolutely necessary. “I urge all New Jerseyans to remain off the roads so we can safely and efficiently handle all emergency situations,” Christie said in a tweet.
  • As of 7 a.m. Horner said State Police have responded to 28 accidents and 52 calls for motorist aide on their patrolled roads.
  • Speeds reduced to 35 mph on the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and the interstates statewide.
  • State Police said that if you get stuck on the interstate and state highways abandoned vehicles will be towed.
  • Pennsylvania has banned motorcycles, buses, empty trailers, tandem truck trailers, RV’s and towed trailers from entering the state. Horner said those vehicles are either pulling to the side of the road to wait out the ban being lifted. On Route 78, Horner said there is a rest area they can use.

TRAINS/BUSES

  • NJ Transit bus and Access Link service suspended on Tuesday.
  • Most NJ Transit rail and light rail service operating on a weekend schedule. Atlantic City line operating on a normal weekday schedule.
  • NJ Transit is cross honoring between rail, light rail and buses.
  • No NJ Transit service west of Raritan on the Raritan Valley Line, west of Dover on the Morris & Essex line and west of Bay Street on the Montclair-Boonton line.
  • PATH is operating on a normal schedule with some service changes as needed.
  • SEPTA regional rail is operating on a Saturday schedule.
  • PATCO is operating on a special snow schedule.
  • Amtrak Northeast Corridor has been suspended between Boston and New York and is operating on a modified schedule between Boston and Washington. No Accela service between New York and Boston and a modified schedule between New York and Washington.

POWER

  • High winds, fallen trees and some flooding have led to nearly 24,000 outages as of 9:50 a.m. across the state.
  • The outage maps for JCP&L shows 3.321 outages mostly in Freehold Borough.
  • 10,180 PSE&G   are without power mostly in Burlington, Camden and Middlesex counties. .
  • Atlantic CIty Electric‘s map is showing 10,325 customers in the dark in Gloucester and Salem counties.

 AIRPORTS

  • 529 flights have been canceled out of Newark Liberty International Airport, or 87 percent of its total departures, were canceled for Tuesday, according to flightaware.com. 3,055 flights in-and-out of Newark, LaGuardia, JFK and Philadelphia have been canceled. Another 485 arrivals into Newark were also canceled.
  • Many airlines are offering ticketed passengers one flight change at no charge.
  • Flights on Wednesday could be affected by the snow as well as the airlines try to recover from the storm. 71 departures and 60 arrivals at Newark have already been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com. “We expect this number to rise significantly for Wednesday morning as airlines get their operations back online,” spokesman Daniel Baker said in a statement.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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