The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch forecasting heavy snow between 12 to 17 inches and wind gusts up to 45 mph for the area as a result of Winter Storm Gail. The storm began today Wednesday, Dec. 16 and may continue through Thursday, Dec. 17.
The National Weather Service highlighted multiple hazards, including, strong winds, heavy snow, and possible flooding. These conditions may lead to tree damage and power outages.
North Bergen versus Nor’easter
North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, other township officials, members of the North Bergen Police Department and Department of Public Works are prepared for the first Nor’easter of the season.
“We are closely monitoring the weather forecast for today and tomorrow,” Sacco said.
He continued: “If the predictions hold and our area gets hit by the storm, our Department of Public Works will be ready to clear the roads and make them safe for our residents.”
North Bergen’s Department of Public Works is ready to hit the streets in advance of the storm to prep the pavement and make clearing the streets easier, with 15 pieces of heavy equipment, 4,500 tons of salt in reserve, and 30 DPW employees.
Residents should avoid unnecessary driving park as close to the curb as possible, away from the corners to facilitate street cleaning and allow the DPW and police to perform their jobs.
Street sweeping and residential and meter parking enforcement will be suspended on Wednesday and will remain suspended until Monday, Dec. 21.
The township’s two outdoor COVID testing sites will be closed on Thursday. The Braddock Park site will reopen on Saturday, while the Liberty Avenue location will reopen on Friday.
West New York ready
“I strongly encourage our residents to take all precautions necessary to ensure they remain safe during this winter storm,” said WNY Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez. “As we have done in the past, our administration will continue to monitor the storm and continue working with local and state partners as well as PSE&G to ensure impact on our residents is minimal.”
Rodriguez said that PSE&G is ensuring extra supplies are on hand.
Alternate side parking and metered parking are cancelled. Residential parking regulations remain in effect. Municipal offices and all parks are closed. Garbage and recycling collection for Dec. 16 and 17 is cancelled.
Rodriguez said to be sure that parked vehicles are not within 15 feet of crosswalks and intersections, so that emergency vehicles can pass.
Businesses along Bergenline Ave. are advised that only the recommended salt should be used on the new sidewalks from 49th to 56th Streets. Public Works employees will be laying salt along this route tomorrow afternoon.
Rodriguez and the Board of Commissioners have designated multiple locations as warming centers, including the Senior Nutrition Center at Sunshine Garden at 515-54th Street, and WNY Housing Authority buildings at 430 62nd St., 6100 Adams St., 6300 Adams St., and 5800 Jefferson St.
Warming centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be a limit on residents allowed inside due to COVID-19. Inside, masks and social distancing are required.
Emergency phone numbers include the West New York Emergency Command Center at 201-295-5100 and the PSE&G Customer Service at 1-800-436-7734. Report an outage by texting “OUT” to 4PSEG (47734).
How to prepare
Move equipment and materials from low lying, flood prone areas, including garages and basements. Move vehicles to high, safe areas to prevent flooding and falling tree or branch damage.
Clear down spouts, gutters, and storm drains. Be prepared for possible power outages, downed limbs, trees, and wires.
Prepare emergency generators, charge phones and battery packs, and prepare emergency items for power outages. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, do not run gasoline-powered generators in a garage or any other enclosed space.
If on life-sustaining medical equipment, alert PSE&G in advance and notify local police and fire departments. For more information, visit www.pseg.com/life.
Stay away from downed wires, which should always be considered “live.” Stay at least 30 feet from downed power lines and immediately call PSE&G at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734) or 911 to report downed wires.
Businesses brace for impact
Local businesses should ensure employees who must drive are properly equipped, prepared, and have knowledge of emergency response plans.
Monitor local conditions for both emergency and non-emergency personnel driving to work. Flooding may occur, and debris and tree limbs may fall on roads.
Outdoor tents, tarps, and furniture must be removed and or secured. Banners must be removed. Construction sites should be secured.
North Bergen and West New York continue to monitor the National Weather Service and will provide updates as they become available.
North Bergen will be posting updates on its website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages throughout the storm and the cleanup afterward.
For the most up to date information on WNY, visit www.westnewyorknj.org and or the town’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Residents can text “Add 3498708” to the number 99538 for direct WNY updates to their phone.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.