The struggle began Monday morning for thousands of New Jerseyans hoping to get to work and school.
Twenty-eight inches of snow fell in Newark, where the mayor suspended all city services and closed all public schools and most city offices Monday.
In New Jersey, black ice turned parking lots into ice skating rinks and many roads wer suffering from severe choke points — areas where snow took over, leaving one or two lanes where there used to be three or four.
DJ Book was walking across an icy parking lot with his daughter.
“Slipping and sliding all over the place. Definitely scared, wouldn’t want to do that again,” he said.
Morris Plains resident Kevin Lyons decided to focus on clearing his home’s walkway Sunday night. He was able to clear a narrow path, but his car is still covered.
“After a couple hours, it took me to do my little walkway -- and not do a very good job at that -- I said the car can wait.”
Legions of plow trucks were out across northeastern New Jersey, but cars were still spinning on ice and getting backed up at chokepoints. And they’re lucky to be out on the roads at all.
“It’s going to be bad tomorrow. It’s going to be very difficult. I’m going to try to go to work very early to get ahead of that because I know it’s going to be unmanageable at 7 or 8 a.m. tomorrow,” said Paul Sambrowski, of Morris Plains.
Things were especially bad in Newark, where one commuter described the “majority” of city streets as being covered in snow, with some streets completely impassable.
While some major streets like Central Avenue were cleared in Newark, tertiary streets, like North Sixth Street, were covered in a fine layer of snow, even after plows had just passed over them.
“And then you call and they say, ‘No we sent three trucks.’ But they’re not shoveling, they’re not putting salt, they’re not doing nothing,” Wanda Garcia said.
Mayor Ras Baraka scolded residents Sunday for ignoring a travel ban and not allowing plows to do their job.
“We had to change our entire operation to begin using our snowplows to help EMS, fire and everybody else get through to rescue people off the street,” Baraka said.
The 28 inches of snow that buried the city forced schools to close Monday and residents to wonder how they were going to get to work. Most city offices were closed as well.
“All of this is going to be in the ice. When people try to get out in the morning for work. Just in general, it’s going to be terrible,” resident Thomas Hubb said.