Warren County officials give update on the aftermath of both nor’easters

WARREN COUNTY, NJ – Warren County used 2,000 tons of road salt in Wednesday’s winter storm and county road personnel were active plowing, salting and clearing roads for 36 hours.

In all, 75 piece of equipment were used and 80 workers were active during that day and a half, according to Warren County Public Works Director Alex Lazorisak.

All County Routes have been reopened, but a number of local roads still have closures and drivers are urged to use caution. Meanwhile, JCP&L reported that as of Friday afternoon, 1,505 customers in Warren County were without electricity, or 2.92 percent, down from 3,642 customers or 7.08 percent Thursday afternoon.

Calls about downed trees and power lines, accidents and other issues kept the County’s 911 Communications Center business during the two back-to-back storms. Warren County Public Safety Director Frank Wheatley said from the onset of Snow Storm Riley on Friday, March 2, through Nor’easter Storm Quinn on Wednesday, the communications center received and handled 3,595 calls. The typical level is about 400 calls a day, he noted.

The extra costs for personnel and materials to deal with the two storms were “a big financial blow to the county budget,” Freeholder Director Edward J. Smith said, “but it’s also a good demonstration of the professionalism of county personnel” who worked around the clock to keep residents safe.

“A lot credit should be given to the Public Works guys. They were going from Friday afternoon right through this storm,” Lazorisak said. “We were cleaning up from the last storm, putting blades on the plows at two o’clock in the morning Tuesday,” he added.

Smith noted that Warren officials and those from other counties had to press Gov. Phil Murphy to get him to declare a state of emergency. “We’re still waiting to see whether or not we will be eligible for disaster aid,” Smith added.

Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator William Hunt said the County is working on collecting information to see if it will meet the threshold to receive financial assistance from the State to recoup the costs of dealing with the storm.

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(Jay Edwards | For WRNJ)