BY ANTONIO IANNETTA
While snow can easily prevent people from getting around, the 2013-2014 winter season has hit commuters across the country extremely hard. New Jersey was just one of the states that were struck.
Winter storms have blasted the country this entire season, spreading snow, ice, and biting winds coast to coast. Winter storms; Hercules, Janus, Quintus and Rex, to name but a few, have piled large amounts of snow on New Jersey. The Chicago Tribune has even named this the “fifth snowiest winter ever.”
Adding on to the problems caused by the snow is a recent shortage of rock salt, a vital material necessary to clear snowy roads. “Salt suppliers have been overwhelmed by the harsh winter, and public works crews in towns and cities across the state are still waiting for their next salt shipment,” said Brian Thompson and Michael George, writers for NBC. “In the meantime, many streets will be left unsalted overnight as snow and sleet fall.”
The entire state has experienced these shortages, and shipments have been delayed due to various reasons. According to ABC Today, one such shipment is delayed because it was a foreign ship that did not bear an American flag. The lack of rock salt could cause the closure of roads and highways, leading to even more problems with commuting and transportation.
Because of these unexpected weather patterns, schools and workplaces have needed to shut down. County College of Morris has been closed multiple times over the past few days, setting students and classes behind. The storms have severely affected the plans of CCM students.
“The storms have affected my commute in a few different ways,” said Alicia Pfaff, a part-time student at CCM. “My car doesn’t handle too well in the snow, making it dangerous to get to my schools. My street is one of the last in Rockaway to be plowed, so it is very possible to be late to class if my street still has a storm’s worth of snow on it.”
Pfaff, who goes to Drew University as well as CCM, said that she has a much different schedule due to the fact that she attends multiple colleges. She added that her average commute to CCM is about 30 minutes, and to Drew is about 45.
“I have had to cancel many plans and be late to classes at both colleges because of the snow,” she said. “Also, if my parents cannot get their cars out of the driveway because of ice, they have to take my car, making it hard to get to school on time, if at all.”
Full-time students at CCM are similarly affected.
“It takes over half an hour for me to get to school,” said Rebecca Campbell, a student from Lake Hopatcong. “In bad conditions, it can take over an hour, and that’s not even including traffic.”
Campbell said that she fears for what will happen to classes, should closures continue. “My teachers say that classes might have to go overtime, or the semester might be extended,” she said. “That’s going to cause a lot of problems with people who can’t change their schedules for the summer, or have classes directly after others.”