NEW JERSEY — All 21 counties of the state of New Jersey spent Thursday under a winter weather advisory as the Garden State prepared for an overnight snowstorm.
Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency for the state, beginning at 10:00 p.m. Thursday.
It’s the latest in a series of winter weather events affecting the region, and this one has the potential to make Friday morning’s commute difficult and dangerous.
As the director of public works for Woodbridge Township, George Brew is responsible for keeping nearly 250 miles of roadways safe and clear. He said that the week has been full of challenges, start to finish.
“We started Monday, we did prep for anticipating a storm, it didn’t hit us,” he said, adding that another storm did hit two days later. “We knew we were going to have ice and freezing rain possible yesterday, and we were ready for that, and here we are again today.”
On Thursday, he had 85 salt trucks, plows, and other winter storm vehicles readied for the overnight storm.
People who live in the area said that they were getting ready as well.
Miguel Marrero was in the parking lot at a Lowe’s hardware store, loading a brand new snowblower into the back of his SUV. He said that it will be needed come Friday morning.
“That’s why after 13 years living in Jersey, it’s the first one I’m buying,” he said.
Local resident Kevin Harris was also at the hardware store, and also had snowblowers on his mind.
“I have two,” he said. “I’ve got a 150 foot driveway, that’s 50 foot wide. So I need help.”
Ishika Pereira, on the other hand, said that even though she has a short sidewalk and driveway, she bought an industrial size tub of ice melter.
“That’s a lot,” she confessed. “I’ll help if my neighbors need it. I’m prepared.”
In Clifton, residents flocked to Home Depot to pick up the necessary supplies: salt, sand and shovels.
One employee told PIX11 News he expected the story to “easily” sell thousands of shovels as residents prepared for the storm.
On Thursday, the roads in this part of New Jersey had brine sprayed on them in preparation for the storm coming in. That brine was sprayed on top of the salty mixture spread on the roadways of North Jersey Wednesday morning, when an ice storm hit, leaving dozens of collisions statewide.
Local road crews spent Thursday preparing for overnight shifts in Woodbridge. Brew, their boss, said that they’re prepared. He couldn’t say the same for motorists, however.
“[I] think it’s gonna be a little sloppy,” he said. “We’re gonna come in early enough.”
He said that his crews would work all night, and anticipated the snow being deep enough to need to be plowed around sunrise, and then the work would continue through the morning.
“We anticipate until lunchtime for us to be able to get things clear for folks to travel safely,” Brew said.
As part of his state of emergency declaration, Gov. Phil Murphy advised residents to work from home on Friday, if at all possible.
Some people are like Michelle Maglione. She said that she’ll be home all day on Friday, after a full day at work on Thursday. She stopped in at the hardware store to pick up salt and a shovel, but she also got a sledding disk for her 11 year-old son.
She said that she intended to make one more stop before heading home to weather the storm.
“I’m definitely going to go pick up some wine before the night’s over,” she said with a laugh.