Tuesday’s snow was far less than the expected 12-24 inches, and snow stopped falling in the region by mid-afternoon.
That would give municipalities a full 12 to 18 hours to clean up roads so students and teachers could get to school today.
New York City schools are open Wednesday, and their Mayor, Bill De Blasio, announced they’d be open, as early as Tuesday afternoon.
So why did so many school districts in Hudson, Essex and Bergen counties stay closed Wednesday?
West New York
Cliffside Park 1-1/2 hour delay
Jersey City 1-1/2 hour delay
Fair Lawn 1-1/2 hour delay
Ridgewood 2 hour delay (11.5″ snow)
Secaucus 2 hour delay
Was the snow that bad?
The objective data says … no way!
According to this report, here are the official National Weather Service totals for the three towns in Hudson County listed:
Hoboken 8.1 inches as of 6:30pm
Harrison 7.2 inches as of 5:00pm
North Bergen 7.0 inches as of 2:30pm
Eastern Bergen County snow totals were low, only in the mid-single digits!
East Rutherford officially reported (from the same NWS totals) only 6.0 inches and that was at 8:00 pm last night.
Eastern Essex County also had modest totals.
Newark Airport 6.7 inches at 8:00pm
West Orange 8.5 inches as of 3:30pm
According to this National Weather Service hourly breakdown, the precipitation virtually stopped after 2pm at Central Park in New York City, which is only a couple of miles east of most of Hudson County. The same was true at the station at Teterboro Airport.
Now, the farther away from the ocean and the center of the nor’easter, the greater the snow accumulations, with 25 miles often making a significant difference. As one moves away from the New Jersey Turnpike and towards the Garden State Parkway and Interstate 287, the totals are higher and often in double digits. But there were still nearly 24 hours to clean up, plus snow removal could have been ongoing during the day.
Lots of people work in the private sector and are expected to be at work unless the weather is severe, or as was the case Tuesday, public transportation was suspended. (Notably, NJTransit announced it would, and did, suspend all bus and most rail service at midnight last night, before snow started.)
The public is expected to get to work.
And six to eight inches, having fallen nearly a full day beforehand, is a laughable amount for a winter-zone municipality to handle.
New Jersey towns cancelling school under such conditions would, to be candid, be laughable — if it weren’t so contemptuous of the general public.
America — and New Jersey — used to have a “can do” spirit.
Does New Jersey now have a “won’t do” attitude?
Or worse: a “whaddaya gonna do about it” attitude?