While everyone else is hunkering down, AFSCME New Jersey members are gearing up

The first winter storm of the season is making its way to New Jersey on Saturday, with six to 10 inches expected in South Jersey, and four to six throughout the rest of the state.

While many New Jersey residents are getting home from work and hunkering down for the storm, most AFSCME New Jersey members are getting ready to brave the weather.

In Commercial Township, situated on the Delaware Bay, Local 3779-E spent Friday preparing for the impending weather. “It takes four or five of us about six hours to get everything ready,” said Local 3779-E member Josh Hoffman, “And if they’re right about this storm we’ll probably be out plowing anywhere from six to eight hours, with plenty of potential for more.”

Commercial Township Local 3779-E plows approximately 40 miles with a crew of five men. “A large portion of that area consists of somewhat densely populated community with a block type layout for the majority of it, then there are some extremely rural areas that are easier to navigate, in my opinion. My concern with this storm is the timing of the snow,” explained Hoffman. “When it snows during the day and we are working on the roads it’s a challenge, with more car and pedestrian traffic than we would see overnight.”

Early Friday morning, NJ.com estimated that the heaviest snow would occur between 6am and 6pm on Saturday. They also warned that snow would be wet and heavy so power outages would be likely, especially in the southern portion of the state.

“Plow services are critical for every community so that we can ensure residents are able to get back and forth to work and live their normal lives with minimal disruption. Not only that, but it’s also crucial that there is a clear path for our first responders in case of an emergency,” said Hoffman who is also a volunteer firefighter with the Port Norris Fire Company.

In many parts of rural South Jersey, such as in Commercial Township, the closest hospital can be more than 20 miles away, meaning clear roads can sometimes be the difference between life and death in serious medical emergencies.

So this season, let’s all remember the men and women who work around the clock to make sure we can wake up to clear roads and peace of mind. From Commercial Township to Clifton, thank you to all of our AFSCME New Jersey road crews.