The prolonged cold weather is expected to add a snowy dimension tonight.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the region between 4 p.m. today and 1 a.m. Saturday. Meteorologist Mitchell Gaines said he anticipates 1 to 2 inches for most of the area and pockets — especially in the southern part of the state — could receive as many as 3 inches.
The cold weather this week will make conditions treacherous for drivers, Gaines said. Ordinarily that small amount of snowfall would not stick to roadways, but because the temperature has not risen above the mid 20s since Tuesday it should stick onto the roads immediately, he said.
Atlantic Cape Community College has cancelled all classes after 2 p.m. and will close the campus at 3 p.m.
"Winter Suite," the Boardwalk Hall light display, is cancelled until Monday due to the snow.
The recorded high at the Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township on Thursday was 26 degrees Fahrenheit, well shy of the normal temperature of 41 degrees. The weeklong cold weather is finally expected to ease with temperatures in the 40s on Monday and Tuesday and a high of 54 on Wednesday, the service reports.
But in the meantime the cold weather continues to affect residents. It forced the Oyster Creek Inn in the Leeds Point section of Galloway Township to close Thursday because too many of the pipes froze. The restaurant is 9.5 feet above the bay and co-owner Scott Kuppel said some pipes started to burst.
Members of the family-owned business brought in propane heaters to warm the pipes, which are not blocked off to the wind because of its location. Kuppel said he expects the business, which operates Thursday to Sunday during the winter, to reopen Friday.
Local counties are preparing for the predicted snowfall.
Cape May County Engineer Dale Foster said the county already did its prep work with salt trucks after reports of small snowstorms last Thursday and Monday. The plan is to salt the roads Friday and then after the snow falls depending on how much accumulation occurs.
"We'll play it by ear," he said. "It'll be a salting event. We won't need to plow."
Cumberland County Public Works Director Don Olbrich said crews placed brine on all of the county's 550 miles of roadway on Wednesday and Thursday. The crew will come in at 11 a.m. Friday so they can handle the snow when it falls later in the day.
Because of the cold temperatures, the county's crews waited until about 9 a.m. in the morning before spraying the brine to make sure the salty liquid substance wouldn't freeze on the roadway, he said.
"I don't foresee any issues (due to the weather)." He said. "We're just all waiting for Wednesday when we'll get 50-degree weather."
Atlantic County also put brine on its 373.5 miles of roadway in anticipation of the storm. William Reinert, head of the Atlantic County Public Works Department, said the cold temperatures make responding to the snow quickly a priority.
"We have to get it off the road,” he said, adding that because it's so cold, when the snow starts to melt, it will quickly turn to ice.
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