Winter Storm Warning for Thursday, February 13th
As of Wednesday afternoon, February 12th, the latest weather forecasts are calling for snowfall to begin before or near midnight and reach as much as 12 inches (one foot) of snow over the next 24 hours, although forecasts are fluid due to uncertainty about temperatures for the region.
“All of us feel the frustration over the continued snowfall and significant amounts of snow our community has received this winter. Such high snow accumulations require time to complete plowing operations after snowfall has ended, which in the case of this storm, may come in two phases and last well over a full day (into the early morning hours of Friday). We ask for and appreciate residents’ continued patience and cooperation during these storms,” explains Mayor Kelly Yaede.
Two (2) Phases of Snowfall likely, With Rain/Sleet Mix in Middle: With significant amounts of snow through Thursday morning expected to produce between 7 – 8 inches of snow, precipitation is likely to change over to rain/sleet mix in the afternoon, only to return to snow again from Thursday evening into early Friday morning, with another 2 – 4 inches of snow possible. Should predictions prove true, crews may need to continue to address primary roads through rainfall should freezing conditions exist (i.e. freezing rain).
Remove Automobile from Streets (Curbsides) onto Driveways/Properties: Mayor Kelly Yaede and Township officials are urging residents to move their vehicles into their driveways or onto their properties this evening. Doing so significantly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of plowing operations. It also allows plows to clear more of your roadway, which leaves less remaining snow when plows are forced to “go around” parked cars. Please, remove all vehicles from the road.
How You Can Avoid Driveways from Being “Plowed In” After Plowing: Plowing as close to the curbsides as possible not only allows for more of your street to be cleared, but also lessens the amount of snow residents may need to eventually shovel through. For those who choose to travel before their street has been plowed, residents can avoid being “plowed back in” by removing the snow that has accumulated on the right-side of your driveway along the curb (from the perspective of facing your home). See the attached diagram for guidance. http://www.hamiltonnj.com/filestorage/83873/84056/How-to-Plow-Your-Driveway-Apron.pdf
If You Do Not Need to Travel, Please Do Not!: When emergency management personnel and plows are required to respond to vehicles that become “stuck” in roadways, it not only creates a safety issue, but also slows down plowing efforts for all residents. If you do not need to travel, please do not.
Garbage Collection Cancelled for Thursday: Already, garbage collection has been cancelled for Thursday, February 13th. Residents should place garbage out on their next regularly-scheduled collection day on Monday, February 17th. Additionally, residents are asked to refrain from placing out bulk items for collection to avoid such items from inadvertently impacting plowing operations.
Preparedness for Possible Power Outages:
The possibility of sleet and freezing rain increasing the likelihood of fallen tree limbs and downed wires that result in power outages. Mayor Kelly Yaede and Township officials encourage all residents to not only prepare for the possibility of power outages, but to also familiarize yourself with information that can assist you before a power outage occurs.
PSE&G offers the following tips to customers to prepare:
• Charge your cell phones, tablets and other mobile devices.
• Fill up your car’s fuel tank.
• Ensure you have a battery-powered radio and a supply of fresh batteries.
• Check your supply of flashlights, blankets, nonperishable food and bottled water for everyone in your family.
• Put your refrigerator and freezer at the coldest setting. Keep a blanket handy to throw over these appliances for added insulation. If electricity is interrupted, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
• Sign up for MyAccount at www.pseg.com and bookmark the mobile-friendly homepage on your smart phone so it’s easy to report outages and check restoration progress.
• Compile a list of emergency phone numbers, including PSE&G’s Customer Service line: 1-800-436-PSEG. Call this number to report power outages or downed wires.
Updates: Information updates will be posted on the Hamilton Township website (www.HamiltonNJ.com) and Hamilton’s official social media accounts (on Facebook and Twitter).
Why Primary Roads are Continuously Plowed: Primary roads are the main network of roads that connect our entire community, are used by all residents and must be kept open for emergency personnel. That is why they are continuously plowed throughout the snow event. There are 200 lane miles of these roads in Hamilton Township in which Township crews are responsible.
A list of primary roads in available through the Snow Plow Sal application on the Hamilton Township website: http://gispro.mcmtrans.com/hamiltonnjwo/HamiltonNJPriorityRoads.pdf
What Roads are Plowed by State Crews or County Crews: Many roads that residents may consider “main” roads may actually be plowed by State of New Jersey crews or Mercer County crews. For a list of such roas, visit the Snow Plow Sal application on the Hamilton Township website: http://gispro.mcmtrans.com/hamiltonnjwo/HamiltonNJStateCounty.pdf
Why Are Some Roads Down to Asphalt When Other Roads a Still Snow Covered: Because Primary Roads, including main roads plowed by State and County crews, are continuously treated, in most cases, asphalt will be visible following winter storms. When secondary roads are plowed, snow can pack on the surface of the road. So although plowing removed the vast majority of snow, asphalt may not be visible.
It is also important to note that when residents fail to remove their vehicles from curbsides before plowing operations, this increases the amount of snow that will remain on roads. Following this, when residents attempt to drive, the result will move more snow back into roads after plowing. Residents can help avoid contributing to this by removing vehicles from road curbsides.
How Long Can it Take to Plow Secondary/Neighborhood Roads AFTER Snowfall Ends? Although all snow events are different (heavy, wet snow takes longer to plow they lighter snow), it can take up to 36 hours AFTER Snowfall Ends to plow all secondary roads, curb-to-curb. However, during recent storms, Hamilton Township has used contracting crews in addition to Township crews, which in most cases, has completed plowing operations in approximately 24 – 28 hours AFTER Snowfall Ended.