By Jaimie Julia Winters

Montclair's department of public works is readying for two winter storms predicted for tonight, Thursday, and again Saturday evening.

After an early November snowstorm caused road backups, long commutes and stranded vehicles, area public works are proactively preparing now for the area's first storm of the year.

About an inch is expected tonight, mainly after 10 p.m. into Friday. Things could get really messy on Saturday and Sunday with about about two to four inches of snow, but with freezing rain and sleet creating slippery roadway conditions, according to the National Weather Service..

In Montclair, crews have already brined the streets, said Communications Director Katya Wowk.

Brine is a liquid salt mixture, and used before a snowfall is more effective than using solid rock salt in keeping roadways from icing up. Even though less salt is used when brining is done pre-snow, it is known to be corrosive to both streets and cars and not good for waterways. Some towns are use a beet juice brine liquid mixture that is more environmentally friendly.

As for plowing, "they'll be coming in at midnight [tonight] for snow clearing," said Wowk.

Christmas trees put out for collection will not be picked up if they're buried in snow, said Wowk. Residents should remove the trees from the curb before snowfall begins.

The Montclair Office of Emergency Management reminded residents that parking on snow-covered streets is prohibited. Cars parked on snow-covered streets will be towed, see ordinance #327-25, the township warned.

The county has declared a Code Blue from Thursday, Jan. 17 - 22, in which warming shelters will be open. In Montclair, the overnight warming station is being offered by MESH Montclair Emergency Services at the Union Baptist Church, 14 Midland Ave. and open 9 p.m. - 7:30 a.m. Cedar Grove and Verona libraries offer daytime shelter.