The pre-winter storm that hit New Jersey on November 15th, 2018 sent many towns into a spiral. It caused a calamity, as it forced some schools to close early, resulted in power outages, and caused many commuters to be stuck in traffic. 6.4 inches of snow swept across the east coast, covering states from Rhode Island to Washington D.C., Virginia.
According to the New Jersey State police, the storm caused 555 motor vehicle crashes within the state of New Jersey, and police helped 1,027 drivers and passengers. The New Jersey Transit System was also delayed for 30 minutes, adding to the mayhem of commuting back home (accuweather).
In New York, gusts of wind and snow knocked down many trees, forcing officials to close streets. The bus and train terminals were also delayed. Many commuters were frustrated by the delays, and vented much of their anger towards workers in charge of the various transportation vehicles. The unexpected storm showed how unreliable the infrastructure of the New York subway and rail roads are.
The snow didn’t just prevent adults from going home. Students in West Orange, New Jersey were unable to navigate the roads back home and had to sleep in their schools using gym mats. However, on November 16th, the Friday morning after the storm, parents were able to reunite with their children.
GL students had radically different experiences. Senior Christopher Schaumburg, who volunteers as a firefighter, went out on calls during the storm. “At one point we were on the road for as much as 3 and a half hours straight… It was actually kind of scary. There were car accidents, people sliding all around you.”
Locally, Governor Livingston freshman Ella Wolfe reported that after staying at a friends house early in the storm, she found herself stuck as she tried to get home around 6:00 P.M. Her friend’s mother struggled to get her Volvo up the street and the car quickly became stuck due to the amount of sleet and snow on the street. Wolfe’s friend had to dig the car out from the snow as her mother proceeded to move the car back into the driveway. Ella had to wait for her friend’s father to return from work, with his SUV more capable of driving under the terrible conditions, to drive her home.
On a less dramatic note, Governor Livingston freshman Aaron Jin claims he spent the snowy day relaxing within his warm house playing his favorite games. He was grateful for the break and took advantage of the extra to time to sleep.
The snow did not just frustrate citizens from getting home, but many experts were baffled by the storm. Meteorologists predicted the storm was only going to leave 2 inches of snow, but by 12:30 p.m. on November 15th, the forecast changed from 2 inches of snow to 4 to 8 inches of snow. Some meteorologists speculate the change in forecast was due to the change of air temperature and atmosphere on the east coast.