ATLANTIC COUNTY -
In South Jersey, residents are bracing for a cold welcome to 2014, as some of the lowest temperatures in the past three years are expected to ice over the area Thursday night.
In Galloway Township, shoppers at ACE Hardware were out in full force buying salt, shovels, and sleds in anticipation of the four to eight inches of snow that are expected to start falling. Eric Pirie told NBC40. "Four to six sounds about right, maybe a little bit more, hopefully less, but we'll deal with that when it gets here." Another shopper, Kathy Steets, said, "I have my shovel, my salt, and now I've got these so I can go out without falling."
While residents say they are preparing for the ice and snow on their own sidewalks and driveways, in Atlantic County, Public Works officials say they've been preparing for this storm since Monday, making sure their 50 to 60 trucks on the roads will be working around-the-clock, and making sure they have sufficient salt and brine on the roads to keep drivers safe.
Department Head for the Atlantic County Department of Public Works, Bill Reinert, said, "Three to five inches here is a lot of snow. It's not something that people are all that used to. It really is manageable, it's not a terrible thing, but it is an inconvenience - and you know these guys will be out there trying to make the roadways safe as quickly as possible."
Because of the potential for piercing cold temperatures, the Atlantic City Office of Emergency Management has issued a Code Blue from 4pm Thursday, through 8am Sunday morning.
The Atlantic City Police Department says they will take the city's homeless, as available, to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission where food and lodging will be provided.
And people aren't the only ones who need to stay inside during the storm. Nancy Bell, President of the Atlantic County SPCA, told NBC40, "Bring your pets inside...please! I don't even know why I have to tell people this - common sense tells you don't leave your animals out. It is maybe going to be 5, 10 degrees out. If you are cold, it's cold, and your animal is cold too."
Officials with Atlantic City Electric say they are also preparing for the worst and will have tree and line crews working to prevent outages. Customers are asked to report any outages.
So make sure proper precautions are taken as we head into what could be one of the coldest couple of days in recent memory.
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