If you don't have to be outside, don't be outside.
An obvious statement, but one that bears repeating, according to Mayor Tim Dougherty, who called the pre-Halloween snowstorm treacherous.
As a result, the town declared a State of Emergency shortly after 6 p.m. on Oct. 29, and opened the at Town Hall up to the public as a storm shelter for those who may be without power. According to officials with JCP&L up to 240,000 customers were without power by late Saturday afternoon, "and that number is climbing," Dougherty said.
Dougherty also said power could be out in some parts of town for several days. The same could be true in surrounding towns as well.
Days before Halloween, Morristown has been hit with its first major snowstorm of the year. By mid-afternoon on Oct. 29, several inches of wet snow had fallen, along with many tree branches, and even some powerlines.
The mayor advised people to stay off the roads, as the town's Office of Emergency Management was opened and coordinating for the evening, which could prove even more dangerous. Temperatures in Morristown are expected to drop to below freezing.
The Morristown Police Department issued an alert via the Nixle.com service advising people to stay indoors. "Several trees and limbs have fallen causing damage with downed power lines," according to the alert. "Scattered power outages have occurred. There are a number of roads that blocked. Residents are being asked to stay indoors and avoid travel."
"I've seen snow in October, but this is legitimate," said Martin Griffin, an employee at Greenberry's, who had the unfortunate honor of working during the storm. "Usually, if it snowed in October, it's a little and melts as soon as it hits the ground. It's going to be a rough winter."
The storm was already resulting in changed plans. presentation of was cancelled as a result of the storm, according to MPAC representative Katie Sword.
The mayor said JCP&L crews were out working at the Ridgedale Avenue substation, as well as working on clearing fallen trees in the area. He said additional information would be made available later in the afternoon.
"We're aware that thousands are without power," Dougherty said. "JCP&L is out working on it."