Route 72 still snow covered just before 2 a.m. this morning.

Southern Ocean County residents woke up this morning to a lot of slush from about 3 inches of snow that began falling Wednesday night.

By early morning, however, rain had started falling.

 Snow had covered the ground and roadways late Wednesday evening until the rain began just after 2 a.m.

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 Precipitation is expected to continue as rain or a sleet mixture that could make morning commuting difficult.

 Just hours before daylight, with many schools already having announced delays, Route 72 in Stafford Township east of the Garden State Parkway was clear and plows in the area were pushing slush.

 More snow was still accumulating on the roadways west on Route 72 toward Barnegat Township and Burlington County.

 There was a clear separation of the weather pattern this morning on Route 72. At Neptune Drive in the Ocean Acres section of the township, heavy rain that was churning snow to slush turned to heavy snow, heading west.

 This morning, the area roadways were largely deserted except for county and state plow and salt trucks and private plow vehicles navigating the highway.

 Roadways were clear on Long Beach Island as the area and adjacent Stafford Township braced for a "Coastal Flood Advisory" that has been issued from 5 a.m. today until midnight on Friday.

 Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Department Chief said he traveled back to Long Beach Island from Stafford Township after work last night through snowy conditions and once he reached LBI there was no snow.

 “Apparently it snowed a little bit over here last night, but it is all rain now,” Letts said this morning.

 The forecast calls for minor coastal flooding along bayfront and lagoon sections, which will impact the Long Beach Island region, the Beach Haven West section of Stafford Township, portions of Barnegat Township and south to Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor.

Little Egg Harbor Township Police Lt. Troy Bezak said there is minor flooding this afternoon and puddles on roadways there because of melting snow.

"The water is up to the bulkheads and there are puddles in the road because the ground is still frozen and the water has nowhere to go," Bezak said.

"The next high tide is around 8 tonight. If the wind lets up and the tide can go back out we'll be fine," he said. 

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