STATE – New Jersey residents are facing another winter storm on Wednesday, which is expected to bring a mix of rain, sleet and snow to the area.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for most of the state, which is in effect from late tonight through Thursday morning. A mix of snow, sleet and rain is expected to begin between 4 a.m. and noon Wednesday, but the most intense snow is forecast for between 5 p.m. and midnight.
Four inches or more of snow and ice are likely, according to the National Weather Service’s advisory. The Wednesday evening commute will be affected, as could the Thursday morning one.
Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, advised New Jersey residents and commuters to exercise caution and avoid unnecessary travel during the storm.
Motorists can check current road conditions at the New Jersey Department of Transportation website, www.511nj.org. Mass transit customers can check www.njtransit.com for the latest travel alerts and advisories.
Fuentes offered the following driving tips:
- Always buckle your seat belt.
- Brake properly to avoid skidding. If driving on snow or ice, start slowly and brake gently. Begin braking early when approaching an intersection.
- If the vehicle starts to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until regaining traction, and then straighten the vehicle. For vehicles with antilock brakes, apply steady pressure.
- Stay within the limits of your vision. If it is too difficult to see, pull off the road and stop.
- Drive slowly and increase following distance. Vehicle speed should adjust for conditions and match the flow of traffic.
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services offered the following snow removal tips:
- If you are inactive and have a history of heart trouble, talk to your doctor before you take on the task of shoveling snow
- Warm up your muscles before shoveling
- Begin shoveling slowly to avoid placing a sudden demand on your heart
- Bend from the knees (not the back) and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow
- Dress in several layers so you can remove a layer as needed
- Plastic shovels are typically lighter than metal shovels and should be used when lifting snow
- Avoid caffeine or nicotine before beginning
- Drink plenty of water
- If you are elderly or not physically fit, consider hiring someone to shovel
If you are using a snow blower, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these safety tips:
- Stop the engine and use a long stick to unclog wet snow and debris from the machine. Do not use your hands to unclog a snow blower
- Always keep hands and feet away from all moving parts
- Never leave the machine running in an enclosed area
- Add fuel to the tank outdoors before starting the machine; don’t add gasoline to a running or hot engine. Always keep the gasoline can capped, and store gasoline out of the house and away from ignition sources
- If you have an electric-powered snow thrower, be aware of where the power cord is at all times
Forecasts predict another possible winter storm for the weekend.
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