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New Jersey Cleaning Up After Winter Storm Jonas

Winter storm Jonas dumped more than two feet of snow on New Jersey and caused flooding along the Jersey Shore this weekend. Now, residents are cleaning up and digging out the snow, according to CBS New York.

Gov. Chris Christie said crews were working through the night and by Sunday morning, roads were passable. The New Jersey Turnpike and other major highways were closed earlier today. Once reopened, reduced speed limits were implemented and drivers were told to be extra cautious. Residents were urged to avoid travel if possible on Sunday.

“If you go out on the roads, please respect the speed limits — very important because there’s still going to be places where the roads are slick,” said Christie, during a morning press conference in Pluckemin, N.J.

Christie continued, “Please be careful, take your time while you drive around today.”

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People taking pictures on a snow covered beach in Cape May, New Jersey. [Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images]
According to North Jersey, Gov. Christie, who is en-route to New Hampshire to campaign for his presidential run, reported that there were less than 300 accidents reported in New Jersey. Only two deaths were reported. In Passaic County, a mother and her 1-year-old son died of carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in a running car.

In regards to the accidents, Christie said it was “a very, very small number.”

“Again, that’s a testimony to folks staying off the roadways. It’s our 17th snow emergency in my six years as governor, so we know how to do this,” said Christie, who said that NJ Transit would resume at noon today.

“Good morning New Jersey, and welcome to one of the biggest shoveling days in New Jersey history!” said Dan Zarrow, Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey.

Zarrow continued, “Around the radio station this morning, everyone is relieved the impacts of this blizzard are (almost) over. Our ‘snowed-in slumber party’ crew of about 9 staffers are looking forward to digging out our cars and going home.”

In a report for the radio station New Jersey 101.5, Zarrow mentioned that the snow had stopped at 4 a.m. this morning, as it was scheduled to. The wind speeds were said to be lighter, at 10 to 20 mph with gusts at 30 mph, compared to yesterday’s 60 plus mph.

Another big issue facing the Garden State is coastal flooding. The National Weather said that coastal flood warnings were in effect from North Carolina up to Maine, according to USA Today.

Three New Jersey locations, reported record high levels of water including, Great Channel at Stone River, Cape May Harbor and Delaware Bay at Cape May. On Saturday, in downtown Ocean City, N.J., the storm had flooded the underground electrical infrastructure. As a result, Delmarva Power cut the electricity to hundreds of customers as a precaution. The towns of Atlantic City and Sea Isle City were also hit by the flooding.

“This, in my opinion, is worse than (Hurricane) Sandy,” Len Desiderio, the mayor of Sea Isle City. “We’re dealing with severe Flooding.”

However, Gov. Christie, in a phone interview for NBC 10 in Philadelphia, downplayed any comparison of this storm to Hurricane Sandy.

“We’re not having any need in any of those towns in Cape May for evacuation,” said Christie. “We’re not having need for evacuations. The mayors did not call for evacuation in those towns.”

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Workers for Skip Holtzapfel Builders Inc. clean out a building damaged by flooding in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. [Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images]
Gov. Christie said at the storm’s peak there were 94,000 power outages across the Garden State, and by Sunday morning there were only 25,000.

According to the Asbury Park Press, around 250 customers in Ocean and Monmouth counties were without power earlier this evening.

Jersey Central Power & Light noted that power was restored to 129,000 customers over the past 24 hours. Atlantic City Electric, who serve Ocean County communities, reported that since the beginning of the storm, more than 100,000 customers had their power restored. There are still outages reported from both of these carriers but urged customers that power would be back soon.

Dan Zarrow had some good news regarding New Jersey’s weather for the next few days.

“For Monday, I’m happy to say that sunshine will dominate the sky as highs climb into the mid to upper 30’s,” said Zarrow, who noted that a “slow warming trend” will continue on Tuesday with temperatures in the mid 40’s.

[Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images]