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South Jersey avoids worst of winter storm

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Despite record rainfall and flurries that began Friday and continued into Saturday morning, South Jersey avoided the worst weather from the winter storm.

The storm dumped more than 3 feet of snow in some parts of New England; left more than 650,000 without power and has been blamed for at least six deaths. Winds reaching 82 mph were recorded in Connecticut.

Locally, the storm brought between 1 and 4 inches of snow and caused minor coastal flooding. The flooding was exacerbated by record rainfall; the Atlantic City International Airport saw 1.72 inches on Friday.

For several hours on Saturday, the Black Horse Pike in the West Atlantic City section of Egg Harbor Township was closed due to flooding at high tide. Meanwhile, power outages in Absecon and Somers Point left as many as 3,000 Atlantic City Electric customers without power. Those outages were resolved by 11:30 a.m.

The general consensus, however, was that the storm was a minor inconvenience compared with the paralyzing blizzard experienced across a large swath of New England.

In Brigantine, which is still recovering from major beach erosion and damaged bulkheads from Hurricane Sandy, authorities reported that all roads were clear on Saturday.

“It’s just a dusting of some winter weather and some ice and snow,” said Police Dispatcher Stanley Gebeline.

Ventnor police said all roads were passable, but water was up to the edge of Wellington Avenue along the bayfront in Ventnor Heights.

Two other municipalities hit hard by Sandy, Little Egg Harbor Township and Tuckerton, reported about 4 inches of snow, but not flooding. Long Beach Township police, meanwhile, reported 2 to 3 inches of snow and no serious flooding.

Much of coastal Cape May County south of Avalon avoided the snow altogether. Wildwood police said there were no reports of flooding, even in low-lying areas.

Hammonton police said all the main roads were clear, but a few side streets are treacherous due to ice and snow. The area saw about an inch of snow from the storm.

State Police at the Woodbine barracks said roads were clear with no reports of major accidents. Municipal police departments did respond to several falls throughout the day due to slick sidewalks.

By mid-morning Saturday, the sun had returned and was expected to stay through the rest of the weekend. The National Weather Service forecast a chance of freezing rain Sunday night, which could persist through the day on Monday.

New Englanders will likely still be digging out by then.

Many cities, including Boston, were deserted save for snowplow crews and a few hardy souls walking dogs or venturing out to take pictures. Airlines scratched more 5,300 flights through the day as airports dug out of the snow. By late morning, however, New York City’s three major airports were able to reopen.

Spirit Airlines, meanwhile, reported no major delays at Atlantic City International Airport.

The U.S. Postal Service closed post offices and suspended mail delivery on Saturday in all of New England.

In Maine, officials said numerous vehicles, including several State Police cars, were stuck in deep snow and warned stranded drivers to expect long waits for tow trucks or other assistance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Richard Degener:


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Here is Your South Jersey Forecast

MONDAY► Periods of rain, heavy at times. Very windy with easterly winds around 25-35mph with gusts to 50mph on the mainland and 60mph at the shore.  1-2" of rain is likely with locally higher amounts.  Also tidal flooding is expected along the shore, with widespread minor flooding during the 4am to 6am and 4pm to 6pm high tides.  Highs in the upper 40s. High wind warnings are in effect for the shore as are coastal flood advisories. On the mainland, wind advisories are in effect. Flood watches are posted for all of South Jersey.

MONDAY NIGHT► Rain continues overnight, tapering to showers towards morning. Remaining windy but the strongest winds will shift up to our north. Lows will remain in the low to mid 40s. More tidal flooding is expected during the 4am to 6am early morning high tide. East to northeast winds around 25-35mph will shift from the northwest and diminish a bit overnight. Winds may still gust over 50mph in the evening.

TUESDAY► Cloudy and breezy with occasional rain showers.  Breezy with highs in the mid 40s, and a northwest wind at 15-20mph and gusty, but not as windy and rainy as Monday was. Tidal flooding impacts still linger early Tuesday morning along the shore.

WEDNESDAY► Finally brighter and drier but also still breezy. Partly sunny and our mildest day of the forecast with highs in the mid to upper 50s.  Brisk southwest winds around 15-20mph with higher gusts.

THURSDAY► Partly sunny, breezy, and the gradual cool down begins. Highs in the low 50s with brisk west winds around 15-20mph.

FRIDAY► A mix of clouds and sunshine. Breezy and cooler with highs closer to seasonable norms for late January and in the mid 40s. West winds again around 15-20mph.

NEXT WEEKEND► Partly sunny, breezy, and colder with highs around 40, and lows in the mid to upper 20s as it finally feels like winter once again.