The Fanwood and Scotch Plains public works departments are currently preparing themselves for what will be a busy night, as a significant storm that could bring as much as 16 inches of snow heads our way. The Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District has also canceled classes for Wednesday in anticipation of the weather.
The public works directors of both departments told Patch on Tuesday that they're in close contact with their municipal governments and police departments to coordinate their plan for the storm. The most recent report from the National Weather Service predicts that the storm could dump between 10 and 16 inches of snow on the Scotch Plains-Fanwood area.
The snow is expected to develop by late Tuesday evening, with accumulations of 2 to 4 inches possible by daybreak. The snow may mix with sleet Wednesday morning, but will otherwise be heavy during the day, with snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour possible.
Temperatures are expected to remain in the low 30's and wind gusts could reach up to 40 miles per hour, causing blizzard-like conditions and potentially causing power outages in the area.
"What we will be doing as soon as we get some precipitation is sending out the salters to the primary road areas so that we can start salting them overnight," said Scotch Plains Public Works Director Kevin Ward. "Then probably around 5 a.m. we will go out and if it's steady snow we will plow back the accumulation on the primary roads. That will accommodate rush hour, then once the precipitation starts to slow down during the day on Wednesday we'll plow back the rest of the town."
Ward said the priority Wednesday morning will be clearing those primary roads, and that they'll get to the secondary ones as soon as there's a break from the heaviest snowfall.
Fanwood DPW Director Clint Dicksen said the plan is similar for the borough.
"Basically we'll get in here at the first sign of accumulation on the road, and we'll send the salt trucks out to get some salt down," he said. "Once there's about three inches down on the road, we'll come in and start our plowing operations so the commuters can get around in the morning."
Scotch Plains and Fanwood are currently in close contact with each other and other neighboring municipalities. Ward said the fact that they're all receiving the same forecast from their respective weather services gives them the confidence that they know what to expect.
"Our staff will remain on site throughout the storm," he said. "They'll be sleeping here, eating here and staying here."
Stay tuned to Patch for the latest information on how the snow storm is impacting Scotch Plains and Fanwood.