Nutley offers tips for dealing with snow emergencies

Snow removal in 2017 Observer file photo

The Township of Nutley’s Department of Public Works is advising residents to prepare for winter by issuing several tips. While some of these tips are Nutley-specific, especially the parking regulations, most are applicable for all towns in The Observer’s readership area.

“The cold and snow will be here soon,” Nutley Mayor Joseph P. Scarpelli, the township’s Public Works commissioner, said. “And we want to make sure everyone is safe and prepared.”

• The Nutley DPW typically starts the plowing process after 1 to 2 inches of snow has fallen. When possible use grassy areas to pile snow. When shoveling, pile the majority of the snow to the left of your driveway, when facing your house. This helps when the snow plows come by, as there is less snow to be plowed in front of your driveway.

The shoveling of snow into the road is not permitted. The snow plows will only push the snow back into your driveway or perhaps your neighbors drive. Do not bury fire hydrants with snow. Assist emergency responders by clearing snow away from hydrants. As a reminder, all property owners are required to clear snow from their sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of the snow event.

• Be a good neighbor. Check on the elderly and assist those in need. Help to keep exit doors from homes clear. With the expected wind of a snow storm, snow drifts may pile up blocking the means of entrance or exit from a structure.

• To aid the Public Works Department in clearing streets, please do not throw snow back into the street. Do not plow snow into the roadway. Face the snow blower chute back onto the grassy part of your property.  Throwing snow back into the street only prolongs the cleanup efforts and may result in ice being formed in front of your property or driveway.

• Unfortunately, snow-plowing operations may cause snow to be pushed and cover the apron of your driveway. If possible, clear the apron of your driveway only after snow plowing efforts have ceased. If you must shovel your apron before snow plowing has ended, be prepared for your apron to be covered over, sometimes repeatedly.

• Please do not confront any township employee plowing snow — they are only doing their job and trying to keep the roads clear and everyone safe.

• It is also important to remember, if temperatures drop below 15º, the effectiveness of road salt to clear ice and snow from roadways becomes limited.

• Whenever snow has fallen and the accumulation is such that it covers the streets, an emergency shall exist and no vehicle shall be parked on all streets, both sides, the entire length. No on-street parking will be allowed until the snow emergency is rescinded.

This also includes handicap on-street parking. Parking prohibitions shall remain in effect after the snow has stopped falling, the streets have been plowed sufficiently, and that parking will not interfere with the normal flow of traffic.

By law, any unoccupied vehicle parked or standing in violation shall be deemed a nuisance and a menace to the safe and proper regulation of traffic, and a police officer may provide for the removal of such vehicle. The owner shall be responsible to pay the reasonable costs of the removal and storage of that vehicle. This situation can be avoided by promptly moving vehicles off the street once snow starts falling.

• Make sure to keep portable basketball hoops away from the street and curbs to avoid contact with plows during snow removal. If you do not plan on playing during the winter, the township recommends placing your portable hoop off the street in a shielded area to keep free of damage.

• In the event of a power outage, please notify PSEG directly at (800) 436-7734.

PSEG needs your account number to track outages and locations requiring restoration of power. If you utilize a portable gasoline or diesel generator, the equipment should be used outside of your home or building and kept at least 20 feet away. These machines pose a fire hazard because of the fuels used to run them. They also can cause a carbon monoxide issue when used inside or too close to structures leading to possible death or serious injury.

• Ruptured water lines may lead to extensive damage to a home. During the winter, home owners should take precautions to prevent water lines from freezing. Seal cracks in doors, windows and foundations. Small openings concentrate cold air, creating a cold blow torch that can quickly freeze pipes. Open cabinets and closets that contain water lines to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing (Be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children). Allow cold water to drip through faucets. Running or dripping water can help prevent water lines from freezing; however, even running water can freeze in sub-zero temperatures.

 • Please remind children to never build tunnels or snow forts in the snow banks near the street. The force and weight of the snow coming off the plows can collapse the tunnels or forts and harm the child.

Keep sleds and toys out of the street and away from the edge of the road. Snow banks make it difficult for plow drivers to see children playing in these areas. Children should never play near the edge of the road. Stay away from plows.

If a plow is on your street, children should stay back at least 20 feet or more from the road. It is best to have children play near the house as the snowplow approaches and stay there until the plow has passed.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.