The winter storm expected to hit Bergen County early Friday will likely make a mess on local roads and could cause power outages, officials said during a conference call Thursday afternoon.
County services are preparing for the worst, officials said. Barry Leventhal of the Bergen Office of Emergency Management said they would be opening their emergency center in Mahwah at 6:30 a.m. Friday and keep it open until at least 3 p.m. Saturday.
Leventhal recommended that residents prepare emergency supplies including food and water for three days, as well as a radio and batteries. Residents should also check on any elderly neighbors, he said.
Heavy winds may bring down tree limbs and knock out power in some areas. County Executive Kathleen Donovan said warming centers and shelters would be opened if needed. Residents who lose power should call their utility to report the outage, she said.
"Do not assume that they know the power lines are down," Donovan said.
Residents can report outages to PSE&G at 1-800-436-7734 or to O&R at 1-877-434-4100.
The county is also preparing for snow. Meteorologists have predicted Bergen could see anywhere between 6-10 or 24 or more inches, depending on various factors.
The county DPW has lows ready to go and will start spreading slurry on roads about two hours before freezing precipitation is expected to begin. They also have generators available to power traffic lights if there are power outages.