Bergen Readying for Weekend Snowfall
Officials throughout Bergen say they're ready for what looks to be 5 inches of snow Friday night into Saturday
It's beginning to look a lot like winter – finally. Although a freak storm blew through the area in October and caused millions of dollars worth of damage, the past two months have looked little like a winter wonderland. That should all be changing this weekend, as forecasters are projecting as much as seven inches of snow between Friday night and Saturday.
A winter storm watch was issued by the National Weather Service Friday, warning of potentially dangerous weather conditions and "significant snowfall." The storm watch is expected to be in effect through Saturday afternoon.
Officials throughout Bergen County say they're ready for whatever flaky foes are coming their way.
"Nothing is a surprise to our guys. We're ready when it happens," said Bergen County Public Works Director Joe Crifasi, whose agency covers about 450 miles of road.
Salt sheds are full and plows are readied, whether it be a heavy downfall or a teasing dust, he said.
"They're telling us the snowfall is probably going to start after midnight. The normal procedure with us is as soon as one of the municipalities calls us to say the roads are slippery or the county police call...we call our guys in within an hour's notice and we're out on the roads salting," Crifasi said.
In Ridgewood, officials expect between 2 and 5 inches of snowfall to coat roofs and streets. Although the conditions this weekend will look little like 'Snowtober,' the area is likely not to be left unscathed.
"It is possible to have some outages as local area power could be impacted by a falling branch [or] tree," Village Manager Gabbert cautioned, noting that extra staff may be deployed.
Neighboring Wyckoff is not taking any chances with a short staff this weekend, according to its mayor.
"Scott [Fisher, head of DPW] has a team of 13 ready to deal with snow and keep our streets safe," said Mayor Chris DePhillips. "My advice to the public in Wyckoff is to let the DPW do its job."
DePhillips said large-scale branch damage isn't expected, but said some dangling branches remain throughout the township. "Residents should be wary of those."
Workers in Paramus were anticipating snow as early as Thursday night, so the plows are ready and the salt is stockpiled, according to Mayor Rich LaBarbiera.
The mayor said it was lucky the storm was coming on a weekend, keeping work and school traffic off the roads.
"We'll deal with the snow as we always do, better than any adjacent community," he boasted.
In Teaneck, officials used a brine solution to pre-treat main roads ahead of the storm. The salt water solution will make the snow easier to plow away.
"It's much cheaper and it's environmentally friendly," Teaneck Township Manager William Broughton said Friday.
Parking fees and limits for township municipal lots have been suspended until 24 hours after the snowfall, Broughton said. Residents should take their cars off the street when the snow starts falling.
Department of Public Works crews were scheduled to come around midnight to deal with the storm, Broughton said.
NJ Transit will be offering full system-wide cross-honoring of tickets on Saturday, the agency said in a statement Friday.
Myles Ma, James Leggate and Noah Cohen contributed to this report.