1st Snow

The first snow of the year fell Tuesday in Atlantic County, though it was just a trace.

This week’s shot of snow and historic cold prompted Code Blue alerts Tuesday and Wednesday nights for those needing warmth and put local emergency management officials on alert.

The freeze caught some by surprise.

“One of the concerns I posted on Cape May OEM Facebook a few days ago was a reminder to residents to winterize outside showers and faucets,” said Jerry Inderwies Jr., emergency management coordinator for Cape May. “With an early freeze and being a seasonal community, people are not winterizing homes yet. Interior broken pipes can be very damaging and costly.”

In the event of broken pipes, the Cape May City Fire Department tries to shut off water to mitigate any damage to property, something Inderweis said has been “successful.”

Temperatures Wednesday morning fell to 21 degrees at Atlantic City International Airport, breaking the previous record for the date by 1 degree. Millville, where data go back to the 1940s, tied its daily record low.

The records did not stop during the morning, either. Atlantic City International and Millville both had the coldest high temperature for the date, at 39 and 40 degrees, respectively.

When temperatures fall below 25 degrees at night — or 32 degrees with precipitation — emergency management officials trigger a code blue, which makes shelters and warming centers available for local homeless or residents who may live in poorly insulated settings.

Donna Peterson, emergency management coordinator for Ventnor, said that even though the city does not have any registered homeless people, those who needed warmth would be sent to the Ventnor Library. At night, they would be sent to the Ventnor Community Center, next to the library.

Atlantic City Electric has been performing maintenance and inspections, upgrades and other work to meet the energy needs of customers, company officials said.

“It’s ... seasonal preparation, as well as year-round investments in reliability and resiliency, that have helped us deliver the most reliable service in the company’s history in recent years,” said Gary Stockbridge, Atlantic City Electric region president.

South Jersey saw its first snowfall of the year Tuesday. A trace, or unmeasurable, amount of snow fell during the afternoon, though car tops and grassy areas did see snow accumulate. Atlantic City International tied the previous record for the date with a trace of snow. Were it to accumulate, it would have been the fourth earliest snowfall in South Jersey recorded history, which dates to 1884.

“(There was) minimal snow, and thank goodness there was sufficient drying time before temperatures bottomed out,” said Scott Morgan, emergency management coordinator for Upper Township, adding, “We are always prepared for those who are homeless or who lose power when cold snaps come calling.”

Temperatures are expected to rise from record-breaking cold to regular cold Thursday, to more seasonable temperatures Friday.

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