Snowstorm transforms Hudson County streets into winter wonderland

Cyril, a 1-year-old dog, was so excited about the snow Monday that his leash got…

Cyril, a 1-year-old dog, was so excited about the snow Monday that his leash got tangled in a bush outside his front door in Weehawken. He barked happily as his owner, Sean Martyn, attempted to extricate him.

“He absolutely loves the snow,” Martyn said. “Every time.”

Monday’s snowstorm transformed Hudson County’s normally busy streets into a winter wonderland, sending some out to shovel and others — like Cyril — out to simply enjoy the powdery snow.

“He’s already been out for two or three (walks),” added Martyn, who had taken Cyril for a loop around the Weehawken reservoir earlier in the day.

Between 10 and 14 inches were expected to fall in Jersey City on Monday, with several more possible overnight and into Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Some parts of New Jersey have forecasts calling for up to 2 feet of snow by Tuesday, prompting Gov. Phil Murphy to declare a state of emergency.

“We got a good head start as we brined/prepared the streets Saturday/Sunday but nevertheless we expect this to be a tough storm on the cleanup,” Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop wrote on Facebook. “We currently have 4 salt depots fully operational. We expanded the number of salt depots from 2 to 4 over the last few years to cut down on needed time for plows to refill.”

City spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said Monday the city had deployed about 110 pieces of equipment for snow removal and already used 3,000 tons of salt.

Jersey City parking regulations were suspended Monday and will remain suspended Tuesday, but the city will enforce emergency routes and cars that restrict emergency vehicle access, Fulop added.

For Union City resident Grace Becker, the snow provided an opportunity for some exercise. Rather than have her son, who lives nearby, shovel for her, Becker was out in a parka and boots, clearing snow that was rapidly accumulating on her sidewalk and steps.

“I didn’t feel like doing my exercise class, my Instagram physique class,” Becker, 68, said.

Becker takes virtual barre classes through Instagram with a New York City-based fitness company. On Monday, she said, she decided to take her workout outside.

“I just thought I’d kill two birds with one stone,” she said. “I’d make a dent — because this looks like it’s going to be coming on for a while — so I’d get some of it out of the way and get my exercise in.”

“In two weeks, I’ll be 69,” she added. “I could shovel this, probably shovel everybody else’s. I’m in excellent shape.”

Snow fell from seemingly every direction in neighboring West New York where the occasional shoveler competed with the ongoing accumulation, hoping to stay ahead of the storm. Maria Guadalupe Casillas was having a blast as she happily shoveled the sidewalk.

“I love snow,” the 49-year-old said gleefully from beneath a fluffy hood.

Casillas moved to the U.S. 13 years ago from Mexico, where snow is harder to come by. On Monday, she headed out with her shovel as a courtesy to the owners of the home she rents.

“I like to feel the outdoors,” Casillas said.

Bodega owners and the staffs of a handful of restaurants hunkered down in their businesses on the surrounding streets. Food Bazaar, a supermarket, even drew a decent crowd of customers who were willing to trek through the snow for a gallon of milk and a few bags of food.

And while plows traversed the snowy streets, few drivers bothered to navigate them.

The Port Authority, meanwhile, suspended PATH service after 3 p.m.

In Bayonne, plows were out early, and the streets were relatively clear at 9 a.m. But the snow just kept falling, and by the early afternoon, it covered any sign of earlier plowing.

There was roughly 12 inches on the ground at 1 p.m., with more than an inch per hour falling to the ground between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

But the snow didn’t grind all business to a total halt: Dr. Kris Mammas, owner of Bayonne Veterinary Medical, opened Monday after using a snow blower to clear the sidewalk outside his practice on Broadway.

Hudson County spokesman James Kennelly said the county had 50 plow trucks out on the roads Monday. He added that the county’s warming center for the homeless was still open in Kearny, but that civilian transportation had been suspended because of the state of emergency.

“We are just asking anyone who is encountering individuals who are experiencing homelessness who maybe need a shelter, especially because of these weather conditions, to contact their local law enforcement which has the vehicles and expertise to provide transportation for those individuals,” Kennelly said.

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