NJ shore still a mess a day after snow stops

ASBURY PARK, N.J. - December 28, 2010

On Tuesday, a full day after the snow stopped falling, conditions were still so bad - especially near the shore - that some post offices weren't delivering mail, one major road was closed, others were reduced to one or two lanes, and officials were still making sure that people weren't still stuck in the hundreds of cars stranded along roadways.

State Police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Jones said at least 60 vehicles were stranded along State Route 18 in Monmouth County.

On Tuesday, State Police helicopters flew over the road to see if there were people trapped in vehicles. Jones said there were no signs of people still in their cars by midmorning.

Officials were still rescuing trapped motorists at about 2 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

The road won't be able to open until the cars stuck on the road can be towed away to make way for plows. It wasn't clear when that would happen.

The stranded motorists and their passengers were taken in National Guard Humvees and other vehicles to shelters set up at the Tinton Falls Police Department, the South Wall Township Fire Department, the Monmouth Mall and the Ocean Township Community Center.

Some of the roads that were open were still hard to travel.

Ramps were closed on Interstate 80 in Passaic County, Interstate 78 in Union County and Interstate 195 in Howell Township.

And lanes were closed on many other highways.

It was so bad that the U.S. Post Office wasn't delivering in some areas.

"We're just shoveling out trucks," said Buddy Sponenberg, a postal worker in Asbury Park. "And we'll see what happens tomorrow," he said.

Asbury Park got so much snow, followed by winds, that an eight-foot drift buried Dave Duncan's Ford Focus.

"This was an act of God. I can't even blame the snow plows," said Duncan, who watched Sunday from his apartment above as his car disappeared into the white.

Mass transit was also still suffering.

New Jersey Transit resumed bus service early Tuesday, but said there were many delays.

Most train lines in the state were running on lighter schedules than normal.

And the PATH trains that carry passengers between New Jersey and New York City were not running in Newark.

Planes began flying and landing again at Newark Liberty Airport, but a backlog of travelers that could last several days remained.


Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers David Porter in Newark and Geoff Mulvihill in Trenton.

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