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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:

609-463-6711

Contact Wallace McKelvey:

609-272-7256

Follow Wallace McKelvey on Twitter @wjmckelvey

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Here is Your South Jersey Forecast

FRIDAY► A mix of clouds and some sunshine as the spring-like warmth returns for another day.  Unseasonably warm with highs in the low 70s on the mainland, but closer to 55-60 along the shore where south winds around 10-15mph will keep things cooler.

FRIDAY NIGHT► Partly to mostly cloudy with some patchy fog developing. Mild with lows around 50.  South winds around 5-10mph overnight.

SATURDAY► Morning clouds and patchy fog give way to partly sunny skies, which give way to some late-day scattered showers and even a thunderstorm or downpour.  One more warm day with highs around 70 on the mainland, 60 along the shore.  South winds around 10-15mph.

SUNDAY► Mostly sunny, breezy, and much cooler with highs in the upper 40s.  West winds around 15-20mph with gusts to 30mph.

MONDAY► Mostly sunny, dry, and pleasant as temperatures inch back up in the mid 50s, with a light southerly breeze.

TUESDAY► Mostly cloudy and breezy with some rain showers likely.  Mild with highs around 55-60.  South to southwest winds around 10-20mph.

WEDNESDAY► Some morning sunshine, then clouds return with showers developing later in the day.  Highs in the low 60s with south winds around 10-15mph.