On a drive through the snowy Middletown Township on Friday night around 6 p.m., Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger said roads like Route 36 were clear, that some side road were a bit slushy, but not impossible to travel on.
However, he requested that Middletown residents please stay at home tonight all the same.
"If nothing else, to let the sanders and salt trucks through to treat the roads, in case it drops below freezing."
The township is keeping a wary eye on the coming nor'easter moving in tonight. Power outages caused by high winds inland, and flooding of the creeks and coastlines east of Route 36 are top concerns, he said.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning and a coastal flood warning for the Middletown area. Moderate flooding of coastal communities could occur during high tide. At Sandy Hook, high tide is Friday 6:19 pm and Saturday 6:43 am. Blustery 15-20 mph winds could gust as high as 33 mph.
"Everyone is mobilized and ready to go," said Scharfenberger Friday.
The room last used as the Hurricane Sandy command center has been set up again to monitor the winter storm. If needed, representatives for the Office of Emergency Management, Police, Fire, government will huddle after business hours.
In a message to residents around 5 p.m., residents were told to "Take all necessary precautions, including moving vehicles to higher ground."
DPW trucks have been spraying salt brine on township roads to keep them from icing over.
Events at the Middletown Arts Center are cancelled for Friday night; visitors are asked to call ahead to 732-706-4100 to learn about other weekend events. The school district has cancelled all after-school activities and sporting events for Friday and Saturday. The Saturday ACT test has been rescheduled for Feb. 23.
The annual Mayor's Cup hockey game between Middletown HS South and Middletown HS North has been called off. It was to take place at 10 a.m. at Prudential Center in Newark.
The Emergency Relief Center at Croydon Hall will be closed Saturday, and the Recreation Dept.'s bus trip to Camelback Ski Resort has been postponed until March 2.
The mayor said he has been in contact with the township's JCP&L representative. "They promise us they are ready," he said. Any power outages should be called in to JCP&L at 1-888-544-4877.
Residents are reminded that township ordinances require that sidewalks be cleared of snow and ice 24 hours after the snowfall ends. They are requested to help keep fire hydrants clear and free of snow and clear snow off cars before driving.