My Memories of the Blizzard of ’96
January 7, 1996. A Sunday, & I was scheduled to work that afternoon, 12-6pm, on New Jersey 101.5. The forecast was ominous, blizzard warnings, & I figured I’d be stuck at the station for at least one night.
The snow started sooner than expected by about 4 hours, so I jumped in my car at home (then in Edison) and drove to the station, getting there just in time before road conditions got too tough to drive. That expected one night at the station turned into THREE nights!
The final totals of snow were staggering. Much of central Jersey got close to 30 inches of accumulation over two long days (the southern shore got less snow but more flooding). As always, the staff of New Jersey 101.5 mobilized to serve you, our listeners.
We had one of our biggest crews on hand, & it was quite a challenge finding places to put our sleeping bags or inflatable mattresses so we could sleep in our old building (a converted private residence). By Tuesday, we were sick of the canned goods and junk food and someone started calling around to see if any restaurants had opened. ONE was found, a Chinese place about 2 miles away.
I foolishly volunteered to drive there (no delivery THAT day). It took over one hour to just dig out my car, half an hour to drive the two miles, even with no other traffic on the road, and when I finally got there the parking lot was unplowed. I had to leave my car on the main road and wade, waist deep, into the drifts to get to the restaurant. I needed the help of two workers there to carry the bags of food to my car! Considering we were probably their only customers that day and the bill was over $130, they were glad to help.
When I finally got home, on Wednesday, I found the already narrow lanes of my condo/townhome complex were plowed to the sides so high only one car could get through at a time. Every time I got maybe 100 feet, I had to then back out as another car was coming the other way! It took over 30 minutes just to get to my address from the entrance.