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Road Conditions Deteriorate as Helen Hits Town

Freezing precipitation coating the roads as winter storm moves through the area.

The first salvo of moisture from the winter storm named Helen has arrived in the form of freezing rain and sleet, coating the roads and making travel conditions hazardous.

According to Chester Township Police Lieutenant Tom Williver, the Chester Department of Public Works are ready to begin work on the roads.

"Drivers are urged to use caution when driving in slippery conditions," Williver said.

With an expected 2 and 4 inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain rolling through the area tonight as part of winter storm Helen, local officials are urging residents heed the winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service (NWS).

"Snow and sleet will overspread the region late this evening and become steadier after midnight. The snow and sleet will change to freezing rain Wednesday morning," the NWS said.

In Mendham Borough, the Department of Public Works has implemented an application called “Winter Wizard Anti-Icing Methods." According to officials, this method utilizes 40 to 50 gallons of a liquid melting agent with 500 lbs. dry rock salt. The process allows for the application of a pasty type material on the center line of a two lane road which then melts down with the precipitation, forming a liquid brine solution. This approach also helps prevent additional frost and snow from bonding to the roadway surface up to three days after the initial application.

Mendham Borough Department of Public Works Superintendent Ken O'Brien said that his crew was ready for the storm, but he wasn't expecting it to be anything major.

"I would guess two or three inches," O'Brien said.

Mendham Township Police Lieutenant Vito Abrusci said that their DPW was already hard at work preparing for the storm, but said that preparation should also be paired with common sense from motorists.

"Our DPW is diligently addressing slippery conditions throughout the Township," Abrusci said. "But residents should avoid driving unless totally necessary."

The storm, which began around 9 p.m. Tuesday is expected to last until 11 a.m. Wednesday. Northeast winds could reach up to 5 mph and temperatures are predicted to be in the low 30s.

Henry Krinkle January 15, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Enough with the naming of storms...it's really annoying. So please buck the trend and do your community a wonderful service. PLEASE!!! Pretty Please...whatever it takes...just STOP it now!
Russ Crespolini (Editor) January 15, 2013 at 09:28 PM
About Me, I personally don't name the storms. If I did, they would be a lot more offbeat. Like Zoltan or something. Thanks for the comment and stay safe out there!
Henry Krinkle January 16, 2013 at 09:02 AM
So, what was the name of the heavy fog from a few days ago? Somehow that one slipped by me. Just kidding...you too stay safe, Russ. Generally speaking, staying in is staying safe.
Russ Crespolini (Editor) January 16, 2013 at 01:42 PM
That fog I personally would have named "Obfuscatious". And you know, I reminded myself of that staying inside thing as I slid home from a council meeting in Chester last night.... ;-)

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