Storm Stella: The Storm That Wasn’t

 

Coaster Photo by Mike Kearns - During the storm Tuesday a pedestrian walked the boardwalk in Ocean Grove.

Coaster Photo by Mike Kearns – During the storm Tuesday a pedestrian walked the boardwalk in Ocean Grove.

By JOANNE PAPAIANNI and DON STINE

In Ocean Township officials were ready for Storm Stella.

They had 43 trucks ready and loaded and 55 employees assigned to work. But in the long run it was not necessary.

The six to 12 inches of snow, or more, predicted for the area never arrived In fact, there was very little snow, but lots of icy rain and wind with temperatures hovering at the freezing mark.

“We had no problems, just lots of rain,” said Ocean Township Mayor Chris Siciliano. “The public works department’s equipment and extra personnel were ready to go in the morning. We were preparing for an 18-inch snowstorm that would last all day. But it became pretty apparent around 4 a.m. that this was going to be mostly rain.”

The mayor said that during an anticipated storm like this one, the township uses all of the equipment and personnel it possibly can.

“And, if we need to, we can call in outside contractors. We are very happy that we had no real sustained high winds and no power outages. We had a couple of tree limbs come down here and there but, other than that, we got away pretty good and even opened the municipal building on a delayed opening,” he said.

He said the township still has about 70 percent of its winter salt supply left.

Neptune Township Clerk Richard J. Cuttrell, who is a trained meteorologist, said the reason this area got more rain than snow is because the storm track ended up being much closer to the coast than was originally predicted.

“We had a longer period of east winds off of the water which brings in warmer temperatures so we had more rain than snow. But if you went inland or north, then they had about two feet of snow,” he said.

So Neptune was another town that dodged a bullet Tuesday.

“We had no real problems. We were involved in clearing drains and had a little coastal flooding but, overall, we faired very well. But we were prepared if the snow came,” he said.

The mayor said that during an anticipated storm like this one, the township uses all of the equipment and personnel it possibly can.

“And, if we need to, we can call in outside contractors. We are very happy that we had no real sustained high winds and no power outages. We had a couple of tree limbs come down here and there but, other than that, we got away pretty good and even opened the municipal building on a delayed opening,” he said.

He said the township still has about 70 percent of its winter salt supply left.

Bradley Beach came through the storm largely unscathed with only a bit of flooding at the beachfront according to Acting Borough Administrator Tony Muscillo.

Muscillo said the public works department reported to him that there was not much damage at all.

“Not enough to worry about,” he said.

Brendan Talbot, the manager of the Buttered Biscuit in Bradley Beach, said they were closed on Tuesday.

“We thought the storm was going to be a lot worse,” he said.

Talbot said the snowstorm and high 60 mile an hour winds were considered in the closing. Business owners were also concerned about their workers, some of who lived out of the area.

In Neptune City Borough Administrator Henry Underhill said there were no major reports of power outages or accidents.

However, there was flooding at the East End Avenue bridge and Route 35 and Third Avenue during high tide in the morning.

“We did very well. I rode through town between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and didn’t notice any flooding,” he said. “We only had that temporary flooding due to high tide.”

Asbury Park Fire Official Garrett Giberson said the city had “no issues.”

There was no flooding or power outages reported, he said.

“For what the forecast was, we were over prepared. We were very lucky,” he said.

Giberson said the town opened the flumes on both Sunset and Wesley Lakes prior to the storm and maintained the water level during high tide.

He also said traffic around the city was the usual amount.

“It was more of a rain event,” he said.

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