HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – Snow began to fall in Somerset County between 3-4 a.m. Thursday, with Winter Storm Niko expected to continue through 4 p.m. with 8-10 inches of snow expected.

Gusts up to 40 mph will cause some drifting.

All schools in Hillsborough are closed, along with hundreds of other public and private schools across the state.

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Alll Hillsborough Township offices were closed at the municipal center.

Somerset County offices were closed; all New Jersey state offices were also closed.

Township Committeeman Frank DelCore, liaison to Public Safety, issued the following statement:

“I would like to remind all residents, of the prohibition of parking on snow covered roads. “Township Code Chapter 143-21 prohibits parking on snow covered roads. When snow is anticipated, use off street parking as an alternative. Vehicles are subject to summonses and the potential of being towed at the owner’s expense.

“Whenever snow has fallen and the accumulation is such that it covers the street or highway an emergency shall exist, and no vehicle shall be parked on either side of any of the streets or parts thereof as described in Schedule XVI (§ 143-45) of the Township Code.”

Township Police Chief Darren Powell also asked for residents’ cooperation.

“It is necessary to have the streets accessible and free from vehicles parked on the side to allow for the plows to complete their work; for the safety of our residents, your vehicles and the effectiveness of Public Works plowing and salting efforts, it is imperative that residents adhere to these restrictions,” he said.

The above parking prohibitions shall remain in effect after the snow has ceased until the streets have been plowed sufficiently and to the extent that parking will not interfere with the normal flow of traffic.

Additionally, Powell reminds residents that N.J.S.A. 39:4-77.1 requires all snow and ice to be cleared from a vehicle before operating said vehicle on the roadway. The purpose is to avoid flying ice and now, which can damage other vehicles and potentially create visibility problems for other drivers.

Welcome to New Jersey, where it was 64 degrees on Wednesday, just hours before the snow was predicted to begin.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for all New Jersey counties except Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland; a winter weather advisory has been issued for those counties.

Wasting no time, Raritan Valley Community College issued an announcement late afternoon Wednesday that all classes for Thursday would be cancelled.

The following senior centers operated by the Somerset County Office on Aging and Disability Services will be closed – Hillsborough, Quail Brook, Warrenbrook, Montgomery and the Senior Wellness Centers in Bernards and Bridgewater.

There will be no Meals on Wheels deliveries. Clients are asked to use the non-perishable meals sent out earlier in the season. If clients do not have frozen meals, or if they have lost power, they can use Heater Meals, shelf-stable meals that come in an orange box.  Directions for heating are on the box. Heater Meals are NOT intended for use in a microwave oven.

The Office on Aging and Disability Services, located at 27 Warren St. in Somerville, will be closed to walk-ins.  Clients and caregivers needing information or assistance may call 908-704-6346 or toll free1-888-747-1122. 

The Office of Veterans Services, also located at 27 Warren St., will be closed to walk-ins as well.  For information related to veterans’ services, call Peter Niemiec at 908-704-6357.

Because Wednesday’s temperatures helped to warm sidelwalks and road surfaces, the snow is not expected to stick initially; state, county and local road crews are applying salt brine to aid melting.

The heavy wet snow is expected to bring down branches and trees and power lines.

A spokesman for PSE&G said extra crews would be on standby for emergency work throughout its service area.