As snow hit Maplewood and South Orange — and much of New Jersey and the tri-state region — this afternoon, activity in the towns and area came to a halt.
Well, maybe not so much a halt as a backward slide.
Cars and NJ Transit buses were littering the sides of roads by 2:45 p.m. This motorist saw one stranded NJT bus on Millburn Avenue, stalled on route to Springfield Avenue. Two buses were stranded on Springfield Avenue in Maplewood between Millburn Avenue and Prospect Street.
Automobiles without four-wheel drive struggled to mount Oakland Road between Kensington Terrace and Prospect Street.
Meanwhile, cancellations piled in.
The South Orange-Maplewood School District had cancelled all after-school and evening activities by 10:30 a.m.
South Orange Township announced:
Due to severe weather conditions the South Orange Jitney Commuter service is cancelled for this evening, Thursday, November 15, 2018 for all routes including late night.
All commuter Jitney Service will resume its regular routes and schedules tomorrow. Friday, November 16, 2018.
From Maplewood Township:
Municipal Buildings Closing today at 3:00pm due to impending weather.
From SOMSD at 3:23 p.m.:
“Due to inclement weather please expect delays with afternoon transportation.”
From South Mountain YMCA:
Due to the weather, all Youth Sports and Enrichment classes have been canceled this afternoon and evening.
From Maplewood Township:
Please be advised that the evening jitney is canceled for today.
From NJ Transit:
NJ TRANSIT train service is subject to up to 30-minute delays system-wide due to weather-related conditions. Additionally, Northeast Corridor line train service is subject to up to 60 minute delays due to an Amtrak signal problem near Trenton.
NJ Transit bus, rail and light rail tickets and passes are being cross honored system-wide due to inclement weather. NY Waterway is accepting NJ TRANSIT rail tickets and passes.
From SOMSD at 5:33 p.m.:
Dear SOMSD Families,
The snow fall and hazardous driving conditions have prompted extreme delays in getting students safely home. Some students have not been picked up yet due to travel delays for their parents/guardians/caregivers. Some buses have still not arrived at their schools, and other buses did pick up students, but have not yet completed their routes.
Please do not worry about your children – administrators and teachers are supervising all students who remain in our school buildings, and Central Office and Transportation are in regular contact with the buses, and all students still on buses are safe.
Staff will remain on duty until every child has been safely picked up, or delivered to their bus stop.
South Orange Maplewood School District
From Maplewood Township Committee person Nancy Adams at approx. 5;40 p.m.:
Maplewood residents: I have been on the phone with Public Works and have been informed that all of our plows and salt trucks are out on the roads. The salt trucks were out early this afternoon spreading salt prior to the snow, which is standard procedure. Not all roads were able to be salted before the snow came in heavier and sooner than predicted. Most importantly, because there are so many cars on the road and traffic is backed up on all major roads, they cannot get through to plow. We are asking residents if you do not HAVE to be out in your cars, please don’t go out! While we all want our streets plowed, that cannot happen if cars are on the road and getting stuck in slippery conditions blocking access for the plows and emergency vehicles. Unfortunately, schools were not let out early and so there is more traffic in bad conditions than normal. Please, stay home! If you’re commuting and can walk home rather than get picked up, please do so. Jitneys cannot get around, so they are canceled this evening.
From South Orange Village President Sheena Collum at approx. 7:45 p.m.:
Neighbors – so this doesn’t get lost in threads, I was tagged by a resident regarding enforcement of cars being parked on our roads. I have notified Departments NOT to enforce overnight parking restrictions. Our primary objective is YOUR SAFETY and certainly not towing and revenue. The following was posted to the Village’s website. Please stay safe.
“In recognition that many residents have had to abandon their cars in order to get home safely, the Village will not be enforcing overnight parking restrictions on local roads. Our primary objective is safety and we want residents to stay home. Please have cars removed by 10am tomorrow morning (11/16/18).”