February 13, 2014 at 4:03 PM
WESTFIELD, NJ — The Town of Westfield has issued an urgent safety message from its snow plow operators and the police department regarding Thursday's snow storm on its website, www.westfieldnj.gov:
Please, please, vehicles and pedestrians, for your own safety, please stay off the roads. The sustained winds of 30 plus mph that is blowing already fallen snow coupled with the heavy snowfall is creating white out conditions and very limited visibility for the snow plow operators. Further, the added threat of downed tree branches and power lines due to the weight of the snow poses additional dangers. The State of New Jersey has declared a State of Emergency due to the extreme weather conditions, schools are closed, and most businesses are closed. Please heed the warnings and stay home and indoors unless you have a true emergency.
We understand that everyone wants their street plowed in a timely manner, but our efforts are being severely hampered by some who are venturing out onto the streets for recreational purposes, by those who have begun to blow snow back into the street, and by some who are moving their vehicles into the street in order to shovel their driveways. Such unnecessary actions create very dangerous conditions as the plows and emergency vehicles are then forced to navigate these obstacles.
The winter storm warning we are under is in effect until 6:00 a.m. tomorrow (Friday). Consequently, this will necessarily be a very long and challenging street (and parking lot) clearing process and safety for all must be the priority, even if it slows plow operations.
Please put your safety above everything else. Stay off the roads unless it is a true emergency. In white out conditions, you cannot assume the plow operator can see you and you cannot assume the stopping distance of any vehicle, 4 wheel drive vehicles included.
If you wish to play outdoors with your children, please do so in backyards, away from the street, trees, and power lines.
Thank you for your cooperation and for putting your safety and the safety of others first.
In addition, due to the significant snow accumulations, Police Chief David Wayman is requesting that residents assist the Westfield Fire Department by clearing snow away from fire hydrants.