Ocean County Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE rap# 1/21/14
OCEAN COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IS MOBILIZED
AS THE WORST OF THE WINTER STORM APPROACHES
OCEAN COUNTY Emergency Management officials mobilized this afternoon as the latest winter storm to hit the region continued to intensify.
"Our Emergency Operations Center opened at 1 pm today to assist our 33 municipalities in dealing with this dangerous storm," said Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety.
The EOC in Berkeley Township will be staffed around the clock until the storm passes or as long as necessary.
Most roads were snow covered this afternoon and officials reported driving conditions to be extremely hazardous.
"The best advice we can give you is to stay off the roads," Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy said.
Continued heavy snow, frigid temperatures and strong gusty winds will continue to thwart snow removal efforts overnight.
The Ocean County Road Department has mobilized its more than 300 trucks and other vehicles to combat the snow.
However, clearing the county's 638 miles of roads and 259 bridges and culverts will take time.
"We plow about 1,600 lane miles in Ocean County," said Freeholder James F. Lacey, liaison to the Ocean County Road Department. "This is the largest county road system in the state."
Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari advised people to stay at home if at all possible.
"If you do not have to drive, please stay home until the worst of the storm passes," Vicari said. "Sidewalks are also very slippery and I ask everyone, but especially our seniors, not to venture outdoors unless they absolutely have to."
Besides the snow and ice, the biting cold and strong winds will drop wind chills to -10 degrees by morning.
"One of the most dangerous aspects of this storm is the near record-low temperatures we will see overnight," Vicari said. "Frost bite and hypothermia are very real threats when the mercury dips so low."
When the storm finally moves offshore and it's time to shovel, Vicari urged caution.
"While it is important to clear walkways of snow and ice, it's also important not to overexert yourself," he said. "Seniors and those with certain medical conditions, such as cardiac or back troubles, should be especially careful."