Holmdel emerges from snow storm unscathed; fire and first aid workers were prepared
9.3 inches recorded in Red Bank, NJ by National Weather Service
The overnight snow storm dumped between 10 to 12 inches on Holmdel but moved north without causing any major emergencies, said Mike Simpson of the township Office of Emergency Management.
On the roads at noon, Police Sgt. Eric Hoffman was praising the township road crews. "I just did a spin around the town and the roads are pretty good," he said. "The crews are working to clear some of the intereior streets now."
It was a quiet night for selfless fire and first aid volunteers, who slept on cots in their buildings to be on standby, said Simpson.
"My surprise of the event: when Chief Boyle from Fire Company #2 on Centerville Road asked me last night for eight more cots for his crew, because the seven I had given him were not enough," said Simpson.
"Given all the budgetary woes that everyone is going through at the moment the level of commitment from all the volunteer, unpaid, emergency responders is I think just amazing," he said.
During the worst of storm Tuesday evening, township road crews pressed their plows into the accumulation, sometimes working in near total white-out conditions. Monmouth County plows worked Route 35 and other country roads.
It was not all work. At midnight, adventure-seeking snowmobilers were spotted racing down Van Brackle Road.
District schools closed. Township and state offices had a two-hour delayed opening.
Cancellations include tonight's Board of Education meeting, municipal court and township recycling services. (See info below.)
The National Weather Service says a winter storm warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Wednesday, which means significant snow is expected that will make travel very hazardous or even impossible. Strong winds will cause blowing and drifting.
Chief John Boyle Sr. of the Holmdel Fire and Rescue No. 2 squad said he would keep a staff on until at least 2 p.m. tomorrow.
Half the membership reported to the firehouse Tuesday evening for the overnight shift. They shared a poltuck dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, chicken with rice, and killed time playing a beanbag game between the fire engines.
"During the last storm we spent a lot of time picking up members who couldn't get out," he said, from the firehouse Tuesday night. "We don’t want to jeopardize the township’s safety, so we said we'd retain a crew here." The members -- 14 men and one woman -- were prepared to sleep on cots set up between the fire trucks.
One of the difficulties this time around for snow removal will be the buildup. In some places the Christmas snowfall buried piles of brush and leaves left on the street for pickup. "Now fresh snow is falling. It's possible that some cleared roads may be only be narrower. They certainly are not going to get wider," said Simpson.
All of the DPW's 17 heavy duty trucks and sanders were in service, said Interim Township Administrator Ray Wilson.
"I'm looking about a week out as the current weather discussions indicate the possibility of another weather "event" of some sort but too soon to tell yet," said Simpson.
The OEM has issued the following information:
Do not park any vehicles on the roadway during the storm to ensure that snowplows are able to move freely. Parked vehicles may make snow clearing impossible.
During the storm snowplow operations may be concentrated on keeping essential roads open such as to the hospital, emergency service buildings etc. The goal is to have all roadways open by sunrise on Thursday - but that could be affected by any major changes in the storm timing.
Do not travel during the storm or after until the roads have been plowed.
Fire and First Aid volunteers will be staffing their buildings to respond to emergency calls but residents should expect that response times may be affected by the storm.
Do not call the Police Department unless it is an Emergency - residents may call 732 946-2820 extension 1211 with any storm related questions and the call will be returned as soon as possible.
If you lose electrical power call JCP&L on 1-888-544-4877 (1-888-LIGHTSS) to report the outage. Do not call the Police Department unless it is an Emergency. Failure to call JCP&L may result in repairs being delayed.
Public school closing information can be accessed at this link on the schools' website