NY, NJ residents get ready ahead of winter storm

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By Dan Sears

Jersey City isn’t expected to get much of the snow promised by this weekend’s winter storm. But resident Stephanie Adeyeye wanted to be prepared, just in case.

“I don’t want to get stuck in [the house] with no juice, no water, no snacks, kids going crazy,” she said, pushing a cart full of food out of a grocery store in the Heights neighborhood.

The National Weather Service warned residents of North Jersey and parts of New York City that a mix of snow, sleet and rain could lead to coastal flooding late Saturday and early Sunday. Across the metro area, residents and officials alike were preparing for the wintry weather. Joshua Goodman, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Sanitation, said the city was well-stocked with 700 million pounds of salt, bike lane plows and BladeRunner 2.0, a software platform that will allow city officials’ to track plowing progress.

Goodman said some of that salt was leftover from last year, when the city used just a fraction of its usual 350,000 tons of the stuff. It’s been nearly 700 days since Central Park last received a measurable amount of snow.

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“When we didn’t need to use as much last year, we just took delivery of less this year,” he said. “That’s a great thing about salt – it doesn’t go bad.”

MTA officials also prepped for the storm ahead of time — firing up electric heaters, flushing brakes and even putting “shoes” on electric trains to help keep the third rail snow-free. And the New Jersey Department of Transportation put the kibosh on commercial travel along stretches of I-80, I-280 and other roadways ahead of the storm.

Salt covers the entrance to a subway station.

Photo by Rajji Vikram / Gothamist

Back across the river, Adeyeye and other Jersey City residents made their way along bustling Central Avenue ahead of the storm, stocking up on essentials like bread and milk.

Some shoppers were hunting down items for special snow-day meals. Marian Garcia stocked up on ingredients for a sushi bake — a TikTok-famous casserole of rice, salmon, seaweed and cream cheese. Garcia said that she’s ready to help her dad shovel out if they get snowed in overnight. After that, though, the plan is to stay home and get cozy: “just stay in, make the sushi bake, and maybe some hot chocolate to enjoy with the fam,” she said.

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A quiet street in Jersey on Saturday as residents brace for snow.

Photo by Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky / Gothamist

Jose Cruz said he was expecting rain more than snow, but he was still looking forward to staying in and snuggling. He and his toddler-aged daughter popped into the store for some fresh berries for oatmeal.

“[We’ll] make some homemade soup, stay in, watch cartoons, and have a good time,” Cruz said. “Maybe play in the snow too.”

Some residents were less enthusiastic about the prospect, however slim, of snow accumulation.

“We’re ready to shovel in front,” resident Joe Stanziani said dryly, before rolling his eyes and correcting himself: “Myself, I should say.” Stanziani added that he’s the person mainly responsible for household maintenance in his family.

Then he hurried away, trying to make it home before the first flakes fell.

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