By CBS3 Staff

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Major preparations are underway down the Jersey Shore for the winter storm. Officials in Atlantic City say it’s all hands on deck and they already started to treats the roadways.

Significant snowfall is expected to slam the shore.

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As the coastal storm creeps up, Atlantic City officials are all hands on deck, from emergency management to the Department of Public Works.

“We are going to get hit and we are going to get hit hard,” Mayor Marty Small said.

Small says the city is prepared, but he has a strong message for residents.

“Please take this storm very seriously,” Small said.

Eyewitness News stopped by True Value in Margate.

Jean Manganaro was grabbing a shovel for his son and says he just moved back from Kentucky where they have a different method of clearing snow.

“No one shovels, they just wait for it to melt. It’s very different from here so when I moved there, I am up at 5 a.m. like a good Jerseyan shoveling my walkway,” Manganaro said.

“The last storm, our shovel broke, it cracked when we were trying to lift the snow,” resident Laurene Stopper said.

Aside from the snow, Atlantic City says they are keeping a close watch on other hazards like coastal flooding, high winds and low temperatures. They want residents to be prepared.

“Make sure you have an emergency kit, make sure your cellphones are charged, make sure you have your emergency numbers, make sure you have food and water, make sure you have medications, make sure you have the necessary kits. We could see power outages,” one official said.

The mayor says this is a partnership between the city, schools and casinos and is moving forward with confidence.

“This isn’t our first rodeo, but it’s the most significant snow we had in years,” Small said.

Starting Friday at 5 p.m., there will be a no-parking ordinance in place to make room for plows to get through. The city will also issue a code blue that will activate shelters.

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Work crews throughout the tri-state region are getting the roadways ready. Parts of South Jersey and all of Delaware could see major impacts, meaning crews are pre-treating the roads days ahead of time.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has a fleet of salt spreaders that are ready to hit the road when the storm comes Friday. Coastal New Jersey is expected to bear the brunt of the storm.

On Thursday, residents in New Jersey are stocking up on essentials ahead of Friday’s nor’easter. Eyewitness News found customers at a Home Depot in Ewing picking up shovels and salt.

“I came now so I can get everything I need for the storm because I don’t intend to come out no more until Monday,” Trenton resident Myrtle Daniels said.

Since Wednesday, NJDOT and PennDOT have been brining the interstates to keep ice from sticking to the roads.

“I don’t think we’ll have a truck that’s not out or an operator that’s not running the route,” PennDOT spokesperson Brad Rudolph said.

Both NJDOT and PennDOT say there’s plenty of salt to treat the roads. It’ll be all hands on deck when the storm hits.

“Staffing has been a challenge this year due to COVID, but we have several options available to us if we are short of drivers. We can call within the counties to see if we can move drivers around to operate our trucks,” Rudolph said.

Despite staffing shortages in the past, PennDOT says it has enough employees to manage the storm.

NJDOT’s commissioner says the biggest challenge is the uncertainty of the nor’easter’s track.

“Just a small shift westward and the storm can really have a major impact on all of New Jersey. So we are preparing as if it’s a statewide storm, but know that the focus right now has been towards the shore,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.

Before the storm hits, NJDOT has this advice for drivers:

  • Check your coolant levels.
  • Replace worn wiper blades.
  • Check tire pressure and tread.
  • Keep your gas tank close to full.
  • Slow down and use caution when the storm hits because the roads will be treacherous.

“If you have to be out, make sure you have an emergency kit in your car — a blanket, a phone charger, a snack, water. It’s important for you in case you get stuck in some traffic or behind an accident,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.

NJDOT says if you have any grocery shopping or errands that you need to do, get them done Thursday so you can avoid being on the road Friday.

CBS3’s Madeleine Wright and Kerri Corrado contributed to this report.

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