The new year brought with it some wicked January weather as the Northeast region of the country was gripped with what meteorologists call a "bomb cyclone," responsible for several deaths along the Atlantic seaboard.
New Jersey declared a state of emergency where the storm has so far dumped a half a foot and up to 2 feet snow in some areas.
The storm is expected to intensify throughout the day, Thursday, Jan. 4. When it subsides later this evening, even colder air is on the way for the area. Over the next couple of days, below zero temperatures are being predicted and throughout the weekend.
The wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour continue to cause blizzard snowfall, including whiteout conditions on the state's highways. The wind chill and poor visibility have made conditions extremely treacherous. The storm has halted travel with canceled flights and dangerous road conditions.
Vehicles getting stuck and spin-outs were reported on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. Several towns were also reported to be without power, or are experiencing intermittent power loss.
Locally, Department of Public Works crews remain out working to clear roadways and ask that residents keep cars off the roads and do not throw snow onto the roadways.
Authorities are warning residents to remain home and off the roadways if at all possible, with plummeting temperatures expected to continue.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) has prepared for the gusty winds and record cold with additional personnel scheduled and on standby. Both PSE&G’s appliance service business and call centers are prepared to respond to additional customer “no heat” calls as temperatures remain low during the next several days. From Christmas to New Year’s Day, PSE&G responded to more than 15,300 no heat calls – making it the busiest holiday week in nearly 20 years.
PSE&G urges its customers to be cautious during and after the storm:
• Downed wires should always be considered “live.” Do not approach or drive over a downed line and do not touch anything that it might be in contact with.
• To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, do not run any gasoline powered engine, including generators and snowblowers, in a garage or any other enclosed space.
Customers should report downed wires or power outages by calling PSE&G’s Customer Service line at 1-800-436-PSEG. Also, customers can report outages at www.pseg.com or by texting “OUT” to 4PSEG (47734).