“Our CCDPW crews have been planning, prepping and monitoring the forecasts as the rest of us wait for the first signs of the storm to arrive,” said Freeholder Susan Shin Angulo, liaison to the CCDPW. “Camden County’s salt reserves are fully stocked and all tree removal equipment is ready to go.”
A wintry mix will start on Saturday turning over to all rain before becoming heavier overnight. That rain will continue into Sunday morning coming to end sometime before noon. After that, temperatures will fall drastically down to the 20s and teens Sunday night creating a significant cause for concern for widespread black ice on Monday morning with the temperatures staying frigidly locked in the teens.
“Based on the rain line and the amount of precipitation we are highly concerned about the precipitous drop in temperature and will have all essential personnel reporting for duty prior to the extreme drop and dispatched to our 12 snow zones,” Shin Angulo said. “I can’t stress enough that you should stay off of the roads during these extreme weather conditions.”
At the public works complex in Lindenwold, more than 100 pieces of equipment are available to keep county roadways passable. When the weather becomes treacherous, personnel will be dispatched to 12 winter maintenance districts to salt and plow 1,200 lane miles of roadways across Camden County. The county’s response plan calls for crews to be dispatched only to the zones where they are needed.
“Anyone on the roadways during the storm should be prepared to encounter slick road conditions,” Shin Angulo said. “Always leave at least six car lengths behind our DPW vehicles while they work, and move any cars off the street and into a driveway while we continue our operations.”
The Camden County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reminds residents to use caution if heading outdoors during the extreme cold.
“During the treacherous weather expected Monday, please stay indoors if possible to keep warm and stay out of the elements,” said Freeholder Jonathan Young, liaison to the Camden County OEM. “If you must go out, please take precautions to keep you and your family safe from the dangerous temperatures.”
Freeholder Jonathan Young offers residents the following tips:
- Dress in layers and cover your exposed skin to avoid frostbite.
- It only takes 30 to 45 minutes for exposed skin to develop frostbite
- Mittens keep children’s hands warmer than gloves.
- Avoid wearing cotton, it holds in moisture and loses its insulating properties.
- Remember that even clear-looking sidewalks can be slippery.
- Keep dog walks brief, don’t leave animals outside and consider a dog coat.
- Please check on your neighbors, especially those that are elderly, disabled or live alone.
- Using your ceiling fan clockwise on low recirculates warm air through the room.
- Never use a stove, oven or a gas grill to heat your home.
- Use space heaters safely on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away. Turn off space heaters before going to bed.
- Wood -burning fireplaces should have a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks or rolling logs. Never leave children alone in the room when a fire is lit. Keep all flammable items at least three feet away from the fireplace. Always make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid the costly repair of pipes that freeze and burst.
- To prevent pipes from freezing, run water, even at a trickle. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, but be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
- In order to conserve electricity, turn off lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
- At night, cover windows with drapes or blankets to minimize heat loss. During the day, open blinds to let sun warm the space.
In the event that the weather causes isolated power outages, please remember to immediately call your utility company so they can identify the location and coordinate crews to restore your power. Any storm has the potential to bring down trees and power lines, so residents need to be extra cognizant of any power failures. Below are numbers and contact info for the two power providers in Camden County:
- PSE&G: 1-800-436-PSEG (7734)
- PSEG website: http://pseg.com/home/customer_service/outage_info/index.jsp
- Atlantic City Electric: 1-800-833-7476
- Atlantic City Electric website: http://www.atlanticcityelectric.com/home/
- South Jersey Gas: 1-800-582-7060
- South Jersey Gas website: http://southjerseygas.com/
As always, please use 911 for emergencies only. If you see a problem on a county road, please call our 24-hour hotline at (856) 566-2980 to report it to DPW.