With Snow, Officials Play Forecaster Role
Planning for snow response means predicting the weather for local officials
“Predicting snow is like buying a lottery ticket,’’ an exasperated Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari declared as a light rain fell amid forecasts that the morning snow would turn to more snow overnight.
“We salt, it rains and washes the salt away. It’s impossible,’’ he said. Forecasts ranged from 3 to 18 inches for the amount of snow that would accumulate over night.
Early morning complaints about slippery roads, when it appeared the snow would continue, set county crews into action spreading salt and brine. The snow changed to rain at midday, and county workers settled in for what promises to be another around the clock plowing effort on 620 miles of county highways..
It is the fifth snowfall of the winter. The county’s other freeholders chided Vicari, saying it always snows a lot when he is freeholder director.
“And February is the worst month,’’ said Freeholder James F. Lacey.
“It’s not just the cost, it’s the wear and tear on equipment. The repair bills come in after the storm,” Vicari complained.
“We’ll do whatever has to be done,’’ he said.
Toms River officials announced their crews mobilized 7 a.m. Wednesday, spraying salt and de-icer on local roadways.