A major winter storm in Essex County could start as early as Friday morning and bring strong, gusty winds, heavy snow and near white-out conditions, according to the National Weather Service Thursday.
Snow accumulations of 10 to 14 inches are possible along with wind gusts up to 45 mph, the report said. The major storm warning has been issued for the county from 6 a.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday, the weather service reported Thursday.
The heaviest snow is expected to hit Friday evening into Saturday morning, forecasters said. Visibility of one-quarter mile or less is possible at times.
The weather service warned of the potential for treacherous driving conditions and localized power outages brought on by the winter storm.
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. declared a snow emergency in the county late Thursday afternoon in anticipation of the storm.
As part of the emergency declaration, beginning Friday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m., no parking and tow-away zone laws will be strictly enforced on all county roads to allow county crews to clear snow from streets, DiVincenzo said in a statement.
Public Service Electric and Gas said it was preparing for storm, including readying "all available personnel" and arranging for contractors and tree crews to help.
"Snow, by itself, does not pose a serious problem for utilities, but heavy snow, icing and strong winds can increase the possibility of downed wires and associated power outages. Cars striking utility poles can also cause wires to come down. And cold weather can affect the number of calls we receive from customers with insufficient or no heat," PSE&G said in a statement.