WEST ORANGE, NJ — Due to the weather forecast and declared state of emergency, all West Orange Public Schools will be closed on Tuesday and all after school activities, child-care programs, evening events and athletics will be cancelled. This includes the 18th annual Music Faculty Scholarship Concert, which will be rescheduled for Feb. 19.
Tuesday’s cancellation is the second time this school year that the West Orange district has cancelled school out of the three snow days built into the school year calendar, according to district spokeswoman Cynthia Cumming.
The decision to close the schools came shortly after Gov. Phil Murphy’s state-of-emergency declaration, which is described on the state's website as a time when the governor believes a disaster may be imminent that “is severe enough to require state aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering.” According to Murphy, northern New Jersey could be facing several inches of snow as well as icy conditions, leading him to declare a state of emergency in the area, effective at midnight.
Locally, the West Orange Office of Emergency Management is urging drivers to stay off the road as much as possible on Tuesday morning due to anticipated dangerous conditions. Snow, sleet and freezing rain are expected Monday night into Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. and Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura have also announced that Essex County’s “Code Blue” procedures are currently in effect until Wednesday at 9 a.m. When a Code Blue is declared, a network of warming stations operated by the county and its municipalities as well as shelters operated by the community based organizations are opened, including the Codey Arena in West Orange and a variety of public libraries, senior centers, civic and community centers, school buildings, houses of worship, firehouses and first aid squad buildings.
“We thank our participating shelters and warming stations who are working with us to open their doors in these times of need,” said Fontoura. “Our homeless residents need a warm place to stay when winter weather gets this bad. The organizations opening their doors are providing a great service and helping us protect the safety of these vulnerable residents.”
A list of available warming stations and shelters is available on www.NJ211.org and available by dialing 2-1-1.