Roads, power, NJ Transit — Essential snow information for March 21
TRENTON — Schools and state offices are closed and trucks are banned from some interstates as New Jersey faces its fourth nor'easter in March.
"Don't be fooled by relatively dormant conditions this morning. The worst and most wintry weather arrives from late this morning, through this afternoon, into this evening," Townsquare New Jersey Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. He expects the peak of the snow to be between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, winding down by Thursday morning.
State offices were closed on Wednesday and non-essential personnel were told to stay home by Gov. Phil Murphy, who issued a state of emergency to free up funding and resources needed to keep roads clear.
Travel is not banned, but a commercial vehicle travel ban went into effect at 8 p.m. Tuesday night on the entire length of Routes 78, 80, 280, and 287. The ban covers all tractor trailers, empty straight CDL-weighted trucks, passenger vehicles pulling trailers, recreational vehicles, and motorcycles.
Many districts along the Jersey Shore are on a delayed opening.
A localized power outage in Washington Township in Morris County knocked out over 1,700 customers as of 7:15 a.m, according to JCP&L's outage map. PSE&G and Atlantic City Electric reported a few scattered outages.
JCP&L said it has additional crews already headed to New Jersey in anticipation of outages, with staging areas set up in Essex County and at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson.
PSE&G also has 600 extra mutual aid and contract employees from Canada, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, and Wisconsin on their way to assist with restoration. The utility warned customers to prepare for outages.
"The landscape is fatigued, the system has been stressed, and we’re expecting outages," John Latka, PSE&G senior vice president of electric and gas operations, said in a statement.
- A Severe Weather Schedule Level 1 will be in effect on its rail system on Wednesday with a limited weekday rail schedule. "We want to give our customers the opportunity to have a clear picture of just how much service we can offer and, more importantly, when their next train is scheduled," NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith said when the severe weather plan was announced.
- Cross-honoring is in effect for rail, PATH, bus and private carriers, and light rail service.
- Bus, light rail, and Access Link services are anticipated to operate regular weekday schedules as weather conditions permit.
- There is the potential for all bus service — including bus service to/from the Port Authority — to be suspended before the afternoon peak travel period.
- A modified schedule is in effect on the Northeast Corridor.
- 843 flights canceled in and out of Newark as of 7:40 a.m., the most of any airport in the country
- "The number of cancellations going into today is significantly higher than advance cancellations for the previous three nor’easters (each had approximately 1,200). However, each of the previous three events ultimately yielded over 3,000 cancellations because airlines canceled a high amount of flights on the day of impact. Since airlines likely based their proactive cancellations for today on the results from the past three weeks, it is possible that we won’t see a sharp rise in further cancellations," FlightAware.com spokeswoman Sara Orsi said.
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