Mayor Declares Local State of Emergency

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Township road crews continue to battle one of the most severe snow storms in recent memory with a goal of reaching all township roads by midnight on Tuesday, said Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger.

Road crews have been working fervently around the clock since 10:00 am on Sunday, December 26th. Township crews, consisting of 40 plows and 6 front end loaders, supplemented by an additional 25 plows and 4 front-end loaders belonging to private contractors, are working to clear more than 300 miles of township road, Scharfenberger said.

A State of Emergency issued by Monmouth County Emergency Management remains in effect. In addition, Mayor Scharfenberger issued a local state of emergency for Middletown Township while township crews work to make local roads as safe for travel as possible.

“The sheer volume of the snow generated by this storm is far greater than we’ve seen in many years so plowing is taking longer than usual. Anyone who does not absolutely need to be on the road should remain at home as long as possible. The fewer cars on the road, the faster plow operators can complete their work,” Scharfenberger said.

“We appreciate everyone’s continued patience and cooperation while crews work to complete the plowing. We will get to every street as quickly as possible,” Scharfenberger added.

Road crews generally prioritize main and arterial roads ahead of local, residential streets and cul-de-sacs. However, top priority must be given to clearing any necessary roads for first aid and fire emergencies during storms. As a result, plow operators must continually be diverted to respond to emergency calls, explained Public Works Director Ted Maloney.

There have been more than 270 fire and first aid emergency incidents in the last 36 hours and over 1,200 emergency calls. Normal volume for this time period is about 80 incidents, said Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante.

Due to a tremendous call volume today, some calls to Town Hall are not going through.  Calls simply asking when your street will be plowed are difficult to answer due to the magnitude of the situation, but again our goal is to reach all streets at least once by midnight. Callers are reminded to limit 9-1-1 calls to true medical and health emergencies, Mercantante said.

Wait until your street is completely plowed before clearing driveways and sidewalks if possible. Facing the street, shovel snow from left to right since the plows will also pass from left to right. Any accumulation that protrudes into the road can be plowed back to the curb without pushing it back into your driveway, Maloney said.

Residents are also reminded that township ordinances prohibit shoveling or blowing snow into the street. The snow will only be pushed back into your driveway and onto sidewalks when the plows return, Maloney said.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...