Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wintry Mayhem

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wintry Mayhem

Article excerpt

North Jersey sloughed off the winter's first measurable snowfall Saturday, with damage limited for the most part to a wave of minor traffic accidents.

Across the region, snowfall totals ranged from 3 to 7 inches -- the first snow in North Jersey since a freak storm slammed the area in late October. Ringwood received 7 inches, and Ramsey had 6 inches by midafternoon, said Bob Ziff, spokesman for the North Jersey Weather Observers.

Police officials monitoring the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike, Palisades Interstate Parkway and other major highways did not report any serious accidents as the snow fell through the morning and into the afternoon. Most of the incidents reported were one-car accidents caused by drivers losing control of their vehicles, police said.

In Paramus alone, there were 13 minor crashes.

After a respite today with mostly sunny skies and a high around 32 degrees, the weather tonight could lead to more work for auto body shops, thanks to a chance of freezing rain.

"Roads will be a mess," Ziff said. "Clearing the snow exposes the road surface to more ice. Any residual moisture will freeze, and anything that melted during the salting process will refreeze."

Paramus police Lt. Barbara Steinberg said that, on Saturday, too many drivers failed to sufficiently adapt to the conditions.

"Mostly people just skidded, or they were going too fast for the conditions," Steinberg said.

Dave Emde, owner of King Crash Auto Collision in Ramsey, said "eight to 10" cars turned up at his business, which he said is typical for a snowy Saturday.

"Nothing major, just a lot of fender-benders -- some from people being too stupid to stay home," Emde said.

The weekend's blitz of snowy conditions in North Jersey is likely to be short-lived. The National Weather Service is forecasting highs near 50 in the area on a rainy Monday, and highs in the mid- to high 40s for the rest of the week. …

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