Hoboken ramps up snowstorm preparations

HOBOKEN — After coming under fire following the blizzard of Dec. 26, the city of Hoboken is taking no chances with preparations for the winter storm watch in effect from Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon.
Beginning the evening of Jan. 10, the city will send out reverse 911 calls to listed numbers in the city to warn residents about the storm and emergency snow routes, according to Mayor Dawn Zimmer at a press briefing Monday afternoon at City Hall.
Hoboken will also operate an emergency operations call center beginning at 3 p.m. on Jan. 11 that residents can phone in with questions or suggestions of what areas need plowing in the city. The numbers for the emergency operations center are 201-239-6643/6644/6647/6648. A city official said the emergency operations center will be a 24-hour operation during the duration of the storm.
Accuweather predicts that approximately 11 inches of snow will fall on the Hudson County area from Tuesday to Wednesday.
In addition, more snow routes have been announced, as Ninth Street, 17th Street, and Vezzetti Way between Washington Street and Willow Avenue will be deemed an emergency snow route. Zimmer said signs will be posted in those areas warning residents of the new snow routes. Vezzetti Way is near Observer Highway in the southern part of town. Vezzetti Way and 17th Street are designated as areas for the city to store snow, if necessary.
The city will begin to evaluate the situation tomorrow at 2 p.m., and if snow is on the ground, towing may begin along the routes.
“We don’t want to tow anybody,” Zimmer said. During the blizzard of Dec. 26, officials reported difficulty plowing the streets because of stranded cars along the streets.
Zimmer said municipal garages B (28 2nd St.) and D (215 Hudson St.) will charge a $5 rate per 24 hour period for residents with a parking permit decal or temporary parking permit placard beginning at 8 p.m. on Jan. 10, ending on Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. She encouraged residents to move their cars from emergency snow routes on Monday before residents go to work on Tuesday morning.
Jennifer Wenson-Maier, director of environmental services, said the city will have regular crews plowing two 12 hour shifts, and the city has three outsourced companies in case additional equipment is necessary.
Zimmer is confident that the city will receive some financial aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from the previous storm, saying that the city has filled out all the proper forms to receive financial assistance.
Alternate side parking regulations wil be suspended during the storm. — Ray Smith

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