Towns in Cape May County are reporting high winds along with six to eight inches of snow but so far there have been no major problems, Cape May County Emergency Management Director Martin Pagliughi reported.
"We've been lucky so far. There have been no major power outages and without power you have to talk about evacuations." Pagliughi said at 7 a.m. on Friday.
Pagliughi said road crews cleared most major roads but they are still slick due to the cold, dry snow.
"Salt will only work to a certain point," he noted.
Pagliughi said emergency management coordinators in the 16 towns reported on average six to eight inches but added winds could cause deeper drifts. He said the wind at 3 a.m. was 15 miles per hour from the northwest, with gusts up to 20, but by 6 a.m. had increased to 19 miles per hour with gusts of 29.
"Now the wind is starting and its blowing in drifts," Pagliughi said.
Another concern is coastal flooding and the county is monitoring a tide gauge on the Townsend's Inlet Bridge. Tides are already 1.5 feet higher than normal due to the new moon. The northwest wind should help keep tidal flooding to a minimum but Pagliughi noted the Delaware Bay towns are getting hit hard by the northwest winds.
The snow has stopped and the sun is coming out in Cape May County while road crews continue clearing, said Lenora Boninfante, a county spokeswoman, shortly after 10 a.m.
Boninfante said motorists should still be careful. Snow is blowing back on roads that have been plowed.
“It’s still icy. Even though the sun is out the temperature is under 20 (degrees). There is a concern later in the day for freezing and black ice,” said Boninfante.
The county has 22 snow plows working to clear roads.
The storm did cause numerous closures including all schools, the county’s Fare Free Transportation service, the Cape May County Park and Zoo, and public libraries in Woodbine and Sea Isle City.
“All other libraries are open but we recommend you call before you go over,” said Boninfante.
The county’s Meals on Wheels program is still operating and the reorganization meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders is still scheduled for 5 p.m. today. The Cape May-Lewes Ferry service is running a reduced schedule.