STATE – The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for most of the state, which will remain in effect until 4 a.m. tomorrow morning. Snow is falling and creating slippery road conditions.
The state Department of Transportation is reporting some accidents and delays on major roadways. Speed restrictions were put in place on the New Jersey Turnpike between Interchage 12 and the George Washington Bridge at 10:33 a.m. this morning.
New Jersey Transit is also reporting 15-30 minute delays with bus service. The transit agency is cross-honoring tickets today and tomorrow due to the winter storm.
According to the National Weather Service, snow will continue throughout the day and could mix with rain at times. The heaviest snow is expected between 6 p.m. and midnight, with snowfall rates averaging between 1 and 2 inches per hour at times. A total of 8 to 12 inches of snow are expected by the time the storm ends early Thursday morning.
New Jersey has activated the State Emergency Operations Center, located at New Jersey State Police Headquarters in West Trenton.
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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