SUMMIT, NJ - That groundhog apparently wasn't lyin'.
Yes when, at 'Gobbler's Knob' on February 2, 'Punxsutawney Phil' saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter, there were those skeptical of the 20-pound weathercasting woodchuck.
Come Tuesday, those doubters may have to eat -- or at least nibble on -- their words.
As frigid temperatures hover over the Hilltop City, Summit is preparing for a what AccuWeather is terming a "major Nor'easter" that is forecast to bring between six inches and a foot of snow along with gusty winds that could top 40 miles per hour along the coastline.
Snowfall is expected to begin Monday evening and continue through Tuesday.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "This amount of snow over such a broad, heavily populated area could bring travel to a standstill as snow clogs streets and highways and heavy snow and wind trigger airline delays and flight cancelations." He added that, "Exactly where the storm tracks will determine the western extent of the heaviest snow zone, as well as where rain will fall along the coast and cut down on snowfall accumulation."
Should the storm materialize as 'advertised' school closures are likely, with residents advised to stay off the roads save for the most essential trips. Further prudent planning includes:
- Ensuring mobile phones are fully charged in the event of power loss.
- Keeping vehicles in the driveway as long as possible.
- 'Adopting a Hydrant' - clearing a two-foot perimeter around a hydrant near one's home or business, and removing snow from storm basin inlets.
- Helping neighbors who require assistance shoveling.
- Checking in on neighbors, especially the elderly.
- Having at least a three-day supply of water and non-perishable, easy to prepare food as well as a seven day supply of medications.
- Dressing in layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.
- Winterizing their vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will help keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Bringing pets indoors. If that’s not possible, making sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
- Avoiding frozen pipes - by running water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Keeping the thermostat at the same temperature day and night to help avoid freezing pipes.
- Not using a stove or oven to heat the home.
- Placing space heaters on a level, hard surface and keeping anything flammable at least three feet away.
- If using a fireplace, using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
- Turning off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Keeping flashlights handy in the event of a power outage.
Important telephone and website information for local utilities, City agencies, and emergency services includes:
For Emergencies, dial 9-1-1 (important to note that if you are home and have a landline, dial 9-1-1 from the landline so that the call may be traced to your home address. Calls from cell phones are routed to cell towers and often dispatched to the State Police Department).
Summit Police Department (non-emergency): (908) 273-0051
Summit Fire Department (non-emergency): (908) 277-1033
Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad (non-emergency): (908) 277-9479
City of Summit website: cityofsummit.org
City of Summit Office of Emergency Management website: cityofsummit.org/215/Emergency-Management
City of Summit Facebook page: facebook.com/pages/City-of-Summit
Nixle Alert System: nixle.com/
Swiftreach replaced the City of Summit’s Code Red – sign up at portalv4.swiftreach.com
Union County First Alert System: https://www.ucfirstalert.org/index.php?CCheck=1
Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/
If you have a downed power line or hazardous condition, call 1-888-544-4877 immediately.
If your power is out, complete this form: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/outages_help/Report_Power_Outages.html
JCP&L outage map:
If you have a downed power line, call 1-800-436-7734 immediately.
If your power is out, login here with your PSE&G account: https://myaccount.pseg.com/amserver/UI/Login?realm=pseg&goto=http%3A%2F%2Fmyportal.pseg.com%3A50000%2Firj%2Fportal
PSE&G outage map: http://www.pseg.com/home/customer_service/outage_info/outagemap.jsp