NJ’s first storm of 2022: Major snowfall, poor visibility in South Jersey
Road crews are tackling the snow-covered roads of South Jersey where a half-foot of snow coats the ground.
The snow started falling after 3 a.m. across New Jersey's southernmost counties with a north-south cut-off along the New Jersey Turnpike with almost no snow west of the roadway.
"With over 8.5 inches of snow on the ground in spots, this is South Jersey's snowiest day in almost four years (January 4, 2018). In fact, that's more snow than Atlantic City International Airport has reported over the last two seasons combined," New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
Snowfall totals from the National Weather Service as of 11:30 a.m.:
- West Cape May - 9"
- Somers Point - 7"
- Mays Landing - 7"
- Absecon - 6"
- Greek Creek - 6"
- Seaville - 5.5"
- Vineland - 2.7"
- Millville - 2.7"
New Jersey Fast Traffic's Tom Rivers called the roads "slick and sloppy" early Monday afternoon.
The peak of the snowfall has passed and the snow won't move much further north than Monmouth County.
"The heaviest snow is behind us. Accumulating snow should substantially taper down around mid-afternoon, ending completely by dinnertime," Zarrow said.
A challenge on the roads
Visibility was cut to less than a mile in some areas as road crews tried to keep up with the snow reducing speeds on the Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway.
“We are seeing an accumulation of a slushy mix on our roads. We have already put down salt and we are plowing County roads in areas that need it,” Ocean County road supervisor Scott Waters said. “We will continue to monitor the weather throughout the day and address areas that may be receiving snow or a wintry mix.”
Camden County is also deploying their plows in the battle to keep 1,200 county roads clear of snow and ice.
“Anyone on the roadways should be prepared to encounter slick road conditions. Remember to always leave at least six car lengths behind our DPW vehicles while they work and move any cars off the street and into a driveway while we continue our plowing operations,” County Commissioner Al Dyer said. “Remember that it is illegal in New Jersey to plow or shovel snow from private property into roadways.”
Snow Day = COVID Day
NJ Transit said that bus service to Ocean City and Cape May will terminate Monday afternoon at Somers Point due to the snow.
Power outages have been minimal for JCP&L, PSE&G and Atlantic City customers, according to their respective outage maps.
Dozens of school districts canceled classes over legitimate concerns about snow-covered roads but some admitted that they took the extra day to give the district an extra day as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in New Jersey.
"The snow day gives us an extra day after New Year's Day so if anyone has symptoms to stay home. This variant spreads quickly so if someone is sick it could cause a spreading event. Symptoms sometimes take three or four days so now we have an extra day. If you're sick stay home and get well," Superintendent Tommy Parlapanides told New Jersey 101.5.
Shovel sooner rather than later
As for the clean up, Zarrow said the wet snow will freeze as temperatures that were in the 60s on Sunday plunge to the teens Monday night.
"The hard freeze tonight will lead to continuing icy spots. Such cold temperatures also makes salt concoctions less effective. So I do expect slippery roads and sidewalks through at least Tuesday morning," Zarrow said.
In Atlantic City residents can park for free on the fourth floor of the Wave parking garage near the Tanger Outlets from 10 a.m. Monday until 5 p.m. Tuesday to allow for road crews to work.
Chris Coleman contributed to this report.