The first winter storm of the season caught state officials off guard Thursday, leaving commuters enraged, stranded on snow-covered and ice-slicked roads and wondering why so little was done to prepare.
And they weren’t shy about their anger. Commuters took to all corners of the internet to tell their horror stories — and place the blame squarely at the feet of Gov. Phil Murphy.
“The total lack of preparedness from the governor’s mansion on down left our state in a complete mess!” said Jay Wanczyk, who spent over 7 hours on an NJ Transit bus from Pompton Plains to Manhattan.
The storm’s impact on the Thursday evening commute was a setback for Murphy, whose administration has failed to improve deteriorating service on NJ Transit since he took office in January.
In separate broadcast media appearances Thursday evening, Murphy sought to blame forecasters, saying the storm hit harder than expected. Predictions varied depending on the region, but initially had as much as 4 inches of snow falling on most of the region Thursday, with higher elevations north and west of Route 287 predicted to get more.
New Jersey’s Statewide Traffic Management Center in Woodbridge – including officials from @NJSP, @NJDOT_info, @GSParkway, and @NJTurnpike – continues to track roadways. The storm was worse originally forecasted. We will not stop working until our roads are clear. pic.twitter.com/1I9zGuVgxd
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) November 16, 2018
The Bayonne Bridge was shut down in both directions Thursday afternoon, making for a worse commute for those driving in the snow, sleet and rain.
The bridge was shutdown by Port Authority due to slippery conditions and several cars becoming stuck on the incline of the renovated bridge, which is steeper than it used to be, a spokesman said.