Education

Westfield Buckles Down for Blizzard; Schools Closed Tuesday

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WESTFIELD, NJ — All Westfield Public Schools will be closed Tuesday, March 14, due to the impending snowstorm, the district announced Monday afternoon. All after school activities on Tuesday are canceled. Tuesday's Board of Education meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m.

With a blizzard warning in effect from midnight Monday until midnight Tuesday, Governor Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency. All state, county and municipal offices are closed Tuesday.

The town of Westfield is asking people to "Please, please, for your own safety, stay indoors and off the roads during the storm and afterwards until the roads are cleared," on the town website:

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"Do not 'play' in the street," it reads. "Do not cross country ski or have snowball fights in the roadway. Plow operators work long hours, have to concentrate on the task at hand and experience limited visibility, especially during white out conditions. Further, there is the added threat of downed trees, tree branches and power lines which pose additional dangers. Please heed the warnings and stay home with your family unless you have a true emergency."

The town is also reminding people that parking is banned on any street in Westfield when three or more inches of snow have fallen until snowfall stops and the entire width of the road has been plowed.  

The penalty for leaving your vehicle on the road could be a fine of up to $150. Police Chief David Wayman said Monday that any vehicles left on the street during the snowstorm will be addressed.

Blowing or shoveling snow into a plowed street could also result in a fine of up to $150 under the new rules.

The National Weather Service is predicting heavy snow with snowfall rates from two to four inches per hour at times, with potential accumulations of 18 to 24 inches. Sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph could result in downed trees and power lines. 

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). The utility’s mobile-friendly website includes an “Outage Map” that is updated every 15 minutes and displays the location and status of power outages in PSE&G’s service area.

According to the town’s website, “The town has been monitoring the development of this storm. At the earliest forecast of a snow event, the town prepares a general snow plowing deployment and emergency response plan and mobilizes its resources to manage any storm related issues that may arise.”  

Residents can use the town’s snow plowing request form, available at http://www.westfieldnj.gov/snow, if they think their street has been missed.

Ward 2 pickups scheduled for Tuesday have been rescheduled to Friday, March 17.

Wayman encouraged residents to sign up for Nixle to receive alerts directly from the Westfield Police Department. For more information and safety tips from the town of Westfield, click here. 

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