NJ braces for a double shot of winter woes, blizzard and flooding

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EDISON AND SEA BRIGHT, NJ—Across New Jersey, residents prepare for a nasty one-two punch—a blizzard warning is in effect across the Southern, Central and Northern parts of the state, and most of the shore is bracing for flooding that could be almost as severe as during Sandy.

Considering that some of the Jersey Shore has still not recovered from the superstorm, the severe winter weather event that's expected this weekend is not welcome.

"We were out [of our home] three years," said Sea Bright resident, Marty Garland. "We only moved back in September, and here we go again."

His wife, Gloria, said they were bring realists about the potential damage of the impending winter storm. The couple is voluntarily evacuating from and locking up their seaside home—which they had raised a full story off the ground after Sandy hit in 2012.

"Sandy was 15 foot tides," said Gloria, who added that this coming weekend's storm is expected to bring 12 foot tides.  "That's halfway up the house here."

Down the shore, emergency crews are anticipating steady snow blown by winds that are forecasted to gust at up to 60 miles an hour.

Those conditions, matched with a full moon that's expected to raise high tides well above flood stage have shore towns bracing for the worst.

"We are cautious and maybe a little nervous," said Mayor Dina Long of Sea Bright. She pointed out that her town, which was under at least 10 feet of water during Sandy, has had plenty of experience with coastal flooding, and plans to rely on that experience.  "God willing, the worst doesn't happen."

She deployed Office of Emergency Management trucks and other heavy equipment to be prepared to pull residents or visitors from flooded homes and cars, if necessary, and she'd asked residents to move their vehicles to higher ground before the storm arrives.

The need for preparation inland from the shore is different, but is at least as great as in Sea Bright.  In Edison, people steadily streamed into Walmart, CostCo, and other big box stores on Thursday to stock up on supplies to help them through the storm.

"Usually they're pretty good at clearing snow," said Walmart shopper David Rosen, about work crews in Edison, where he works, and Jersey City, where he lives.  "I just don't want to go outside" this weekend, he said, "so I got supplies to get me through Friday, Saturday and Sunday."

Marilyn Goullon was among the many people  PIX11 encountered who were stocking up.  "That's why I'm doing my runs now, so I don't have to leave the house."

But even people who will remain at home were preparing to have to move deep snow on their own.

"It's such a nice day," said Edison resident Tom Thomas, as he walked down the street from his home on Thursday with a freshly filled gas can, "I  figured I'd walk to the gas station and get gas for the snowblower."

He also had his eye on Washington, D.C., where his son attends college, and where a 1-inch snowfall event on Wednesday evening  caused gridlock for hours all around the beltway and within the city limits.

"They're closing schools tomorrow," said Thomas, about Washington area authorities.  "They're expecting a horrible situation. [But] here in Jersey, we're good about cold weather."

A blizzard watch is in effect for his part of New Jersey and 11 counties throughout the Garden State, but his assessment may prove correct.

 Not only is the metro Washington, D.C.. area notorious for poorly handling winter storm events, it's forecasted to get up to 30 inches of snow, nearly three times what Central New Jersey is expected to see.

The snow is expected to start falling very late Friday night through Sunday morning.