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Mayor’s Storm Update: Jan. 28

Mayor Jay Gillian

Dear Friends,

Ocean City will see blizzard conditions starting tonight.

I received the following update in an afternoon call with the National Weather Service and emergency management coordinators from the county.

At this time, the snow is expected to start at about 8 p.m. and be the heaviest from 1 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The forecast calls for 12 to 18 inches, but with cold temperatures, it could be a powdery snow.

Sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph will create whiteout conditions. The governor has declared a state of emergency until 6 p.m. Saturday.

Please stay off the roads during the storm. With schools out and many people off for the weekend, it’s a good time to hunker down.

Our police, fire and EMS responders will be able to get to any part of Ocean City during the storm. Dial 911 for any emergency and 609-399-6111 (city) or 609-399-9111 (police) for non-emergencies.

The ordinance prohibiting parking on West Avenue during a snow emergency will not be enforced.

This will give more residents a chance to move vehicles away from alleys that may be snowed in. Be aware that the extra width of West Avenue may create higher snow banks to dig out from.

We ask merchants and resident not to park on downtown Asbury Avenue tonight or tomorrow, so the city can plow and remove snow from our shopping district.

The Ocean City Community Center (including the Ocean City Free Public Library, Aquatic and Fitness Center, Arts Center, Historical Museum and Senior Center) will be closed on Saturday. The Civic Center and all associated recreational programs also will be closed.

Our Public Works team is working now to prepare roads in advance of the storm. They will continue until all roads are clear (see more on our priorities for clearing snow).

In addition to our entire fleet working around the clock, we have made arrangements with private contractors to bring in equipment to remove piles of snow from certain public areas starting on Sunday morning.

If there are extensive power outages, we will have staff on hand to establish a shelter at Ocean City High School.

We also expect street flooding, and the latest forecast has increased the predicted water level to 6 feet mean low water.

The tide level is expected to peak in the hours around high tide at 5:28 a.m. Saturday, so residents should be prepared to move vehicles to safe places on Friday evening.

Free parking is available at all municipal lots in town. Parking also will be available at the Trinity United Methodist Church at 20 North Shore Road in Marmora.

As always, be sure to check on friends and neighbors to make sure they’re OK and have what they need.

Warm regards,

Mayor Jay A. Gillian