Freezing rain hampers storm cleanup in New Jersey

February 11, 2013 3:41:53 AM PST
Freezing rain is slowing the commute in some parts of New Jersey, hampering the cleanup effort after this weekend's snow storm, which dropped more than a foot of snow on parts of the state.

Forecasters say accumulations should range from a trace to a tenth of an inch and should change to regular rain late in the morning.

The rain will help melt the snow that fell from Friday into Saturday, but clogged storm drains could lead to ponding on roads.

As for the snow, the National Weather Service reports River Vale in northern Bergen County got 15 inches. West Milford, Hillsdale and Scotch Plains all got more than a foot of snow. Cedar Grove residents woke up to about 10 inches of snow Saturday morning.

Newark had been projected to get up to a foot of snow or possibly more but received about 5 or 6 inches. About 5 inches fell on Jersey City and about 6 inches fell at Newark Liberty International Airport, which was closed overnight and reopened Saturday morning.

Luckily, widespread power outages predicted in the wake of the nor'easter did not materialized in New Jersey.

A few thousand customers statewide lost their service during the storm. But by early Saturday afternoon, officials said power had been restored to nearly all of the affected customers.

Atlantic City Electric had reported about 4,900 people without power earlier in the day, but that number had been whittled to just 20 by Saturday afternoon. And the state's two largest utilities, PSE&G and JCP&L, reported only minor, scattered outages.

Meanwhile, Orange & Rockland Electric reported no outages in areas it serves in northern Jersey.

More than 2 million customers lost power after Superstorm Sandy last October and several hundred thousand lost power after an October 2011 snowstorm.

"We got kind of lucky," William Strauss said as he shoveled his sidewalk in Jersey City, which got about 5 inches but had been predicted to get much more. "It's not the storm of the century here. I've seen a lot worse here. It's February, so it's to be expected."

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