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City of Summit Prepares for Winter Storm

DPW Superintendent Paul Cascais, Director of Community Services Beth Kinney outline city's preparations for the incoming storm, which could bring 10 to 14 inches to the area.

Winter Storm Nemo is heading our way, promising to drop 10 to 14 inches of snow, and the City of Summit is fully prepared for anything it throws down on the hilltop.

Paul Cascais, Superintendent of Public Works in Summit, said a brine solution has already been put down on the roads to help melt some of the snow when it hits the street. Plus, DPW has a stockpile of salt at their facility, as well as 17 trucks fitted with plows — three from a subcontractor — which are ready to tackle the roadways.

“All of our staff members are on call. We have two 12-hour shifts for snow fighting and that includes operators that will operate trucks for de-icing of the roadways with salt material, and then we’ll start plowing when there’s about three inches of snow,” Cascais told Patch Thursday evening. “We have six different plow routes. We also take care of all public properties. Our folks are ready to put down material on all public properties, sidewalks and parking lots. As soon as we get a call that the roads are getting slippery, we will recall the first shift and work them 12 hours, and then we’ll bring in the second shift.”

Beth Kinney, Director of Community Services, said this is shaping up to be a solid 10-to-14 inch snowstorm for the Summit area. In addition to the plow trucks and salt materials, the DPW also has someone in vehicle maintenance on call so that if any mechanical issues come up with any of the trucks, it can be addressed immediately.

Cascais said once the snow begins to fall, the plow trucks will begin to tackle the city’s “main arteries” first, focusing on the major roads as well as the area around Overlook Hospital.

“Typically we get people calling saying, ‘my street hasn’t been plowed yet.’ We hit all of our main arteries first, and then we go into our secondary roads so people need to be patient,” Cascais explained. “We get to every street; we will open the street up and after that, go curb to curb.”

The city has an ordinance prohibiting overnight street parking from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. While the city doesn’t have any overnight parking available for residents, Kinney and Cascais encourage residents to make arrangements to park vehicles off the street if they don't have a driveway.

With any storm, power outages can occur due to downed trees, limbs, branches, power lines and power poles. While an emergency shelter hasn’t been set up in Summit at this time, Cascais said one would be designated if the city’s Emergency Operations Center is activated and there are widespread power outages.

“From there, we’ll discuss what our next steps would be on opening a shelter. But if it’s only small areas with pockets of power out, we don’t usually open our EOC until we see it really expanding through the city,” Cascais explained. “So you may get small pockets where JCP&L will respond quickly to get power up and running. But if it’s more of an ice storm, which I don’t think they are calling for — this is more of a snow event — we shouldn’t really see power outages, I wouldn’t think.”

During and after the storm, Kinney said any important information will be published on the city’s website and Facebook page, and sent to residents through the Nixle alert system. However, if the storm is really bad and there are widespread power outages, Kinney said the city would also utilize the Code Red Alert system to deliver important announcements to residents.

“We always suggest signing up for Code Red and Nixle for cell phones. A lot of people don’t realize they can do that. You can get it on any device you want and we encourage people to do that,” Kinney explained. “Many of the people we heard from who did not feel they were well communicated with during Sandy, they hadn’t had Code Red on their cell phones. I will say that normally with this type of storm, we will not necessarily activate the EOC or do Code Reds. So most of the information would be posted on the website and I don’t anticipate there being a lot of need for that kind of communication.”

Important Websites and Phone Numbers:

For Emergencies, dial 9-1-1

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: http://www.cityofsummit.org/

City of Summit Office of Emergency Management website: http://www.cityofsummit.org/content/8242/8298/9106/default.aspx

City of Summit Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/City-of-Summit/167658826632366

Nixle Alert System:
http://www.nixle.com/

Code Red Alert System:
https://cne.coderedweb.com/Default.aspx?groupid=GyX3pd6QfF2uG6nfr0CjCg%3d%3d

Union County First Alert System: https://www.ucfirstalert.org/index.php?CCheck=1

Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/

For JCP&L customers:

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:
http://outages.firstenergycorp.com/nj.html

Twitter: @JCP_L

For PSE&G customers:

If you have a downed power line or hazardous condition, 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

Twitter: @PSEGdelivers

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