Snowy Saturday in parts of NJ

January 8, 2011 4:16:49 PM PST
Another winter storm has hit New Jersey.

But this time, it was the southern and coastal areas that got socked.

Light snow began falling Saturday morning and intensified as the day progressed. Nearly 7 inches was reported in Atlantic City, but most central and southern areas saw 2 to 5 inches by early Saturday night.

Forecasters said the heaviest snows had ended by late afternoon, though light snow and flurries were expected to continue Saturday night.

Traffic was moving slowly as crews worked to keep roadways clear, and residents were being urged to avoid travel. Several minor accidents and spinouts had occurred.

All winter storm warnings for southern Jersey had been canceled by early Saturday night, though conditions there remained slick and slippery.

Friday's winter storm brought 5 inches of snow to parts of northern New Jersey. Much of the state saw far less, although officials still smarting from the post-Christmas blizzard were prepared for much more.

While many accidents were reported, state and local governments were well prepared for this round of snow, deploying equipment and manpower well in advance. In Point Pleasant, for example, trucks were spreading brine to pretreat roads at 8 a.m. Thursday - more than 24 hours before the first snowflakes fell.

They brought out the big guns in Butler, not taking any chances after the holiday blizzard.

Neither was Albert Sharpe.

"Hope I don't get into another accident. I got into an accident in the last storm. Wasn't major, but," he said.

The snow was enough to make him think twice about driving this time around. So he took it slow.

The heaviest of the snow fell in New Jersey during the morning hours. Huge snow piles left over from the blizzard are now covered by a few inches of fresh snow.

Talk about baptism by fire (or by snow). The mayor of Butler has been on the job just 4 days.

"Safety comes first for the people in the town and that's how we're gonna work it," Butler Mayor Bob Alviene.

By lunch time, the snow had all but stopped. However, the effort to clean up continued. After all, there is still more than enough left over from the last storm.

The Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike were in good shape, and a speed restriction was lifted by mid-afternoon Friday.

New Jersey activated its emergency operations center at 6 a.m. Friday to coordinate a response to the storm, but by mid-afternoon, the snow was over and the sun was peeking through in many parts of the state.

State Police deployed more troopers on state roads to assist plow drivers, particularly on roads hard-hit by last month's storm: Routes 80, 78 and 280 - where more than 500 motorists became stranded.

That storm dropped nearly 3 feet of snow in some areas of Monmouth County.

Gov. Chris Christie, who was criticized for vacationing at Disney World during the last storm, joked that he would be out "shoveling myself ... that's the state's plan" - a reference to Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who personally helped dig people out during the last storm.

Some information from The Associated Press included in this report.

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