Mayor Cory Booker said Friday the city is prepared for winter storm Nemo but also urged residents to hunker down for the blizzard that may be packing winds of up to 60 mph, raising the possibility of significant power outages in the city.
“We are expecting power outages....the time to prepare is now,” Booker said during a press conference at the city’s emergency operations headquarters on Clinton Avenue.
The storm is expected to bring a sloppy mix of snow, sleet and rain throughout the day Friday, precipitation which will turn to snow in the evening. Friday night into Saturday morning, the city may see accumulations of anywhere from a foot to 20 inches, Booker said.
In addition, wind gusts propelling the wet, heavy snow may once again bring down power lines, as happened during Sandy in October.
The city has marshalled 50 salt trucks and 55 snow removal vehicles, which will hit high-priority streets first, such as the main arteries and steep hills. Booker asked patience of those living on residential side streets, which might not be cleared immediately.
Snow-removal vehicles are now equipped with GPS systems to ensure they are in Newark and doing their work. In the past, there have been allegations private contractors failed to clear snow from streets they were paid to plow, Booker said.
- Booker urged residents to refrain from using non-conventional heat sources, such as ovens, for home heating if power goes out. Doing so can be both a fire and carbon monoxide risk.
- Residents are being urged to call the city’s non-emergency number, 973-733-3411, for any non-urgent problems arising from the storm. The city may place the number on a 24-hour basis is needed, Booker and Business Administrator Julien Neals said.
- To report downed power lines, call 1-800-436-7734.
- Booker also urged residents to refrain from shovelling snow into the street.
- An emergency shelter, if needed, will be opened at the JFK Recreation Center, 211 W. Kinney St.