The snowfall has tapered off in Cape May County this afternoon, but a thick coating of snow and slush remains on roadways.
The hazardous conditions have kept the roads lightly trafficked, but a few area residents have ventured out despite pleas from the authorities to stay inside.
Middle Township resident Mike Giannini was among the more daring in his defiance of the weather, having rode his bike the mile from his Johnstown Lane home to Glick’s Corner Café on Route 9 and Indian Trail road.
Giannini took a short break at a friend’s house for coffee and a cigarette on his way, but was otherwise shielded from the elements by just a winter jacket and a knit cap.
“It was kind of rough,” he said. “It was chilly, I guess, but the roads aren’t too bad.”
It was business as usual at the café and deli, which was one of a handful of businesses in town to open. The café counter was full as of 9:30 a.m., and the deli had seen a steady stream of customers since about 8:30 a.m., employee Paige Philips said.
“It’s just a regular Monday,” she said. “You would think the snow would slow them down, but no, it’s been just as busy.”
Road crews likewise had a full plate, having been out in force since 11 p.m. Sunday night distributing salt from the county’s reserve of 12,000 tons. Crews had mostly shifted to snow removal as of 7 a.m., when the freezing rain gave way to heavy snow.
Cape May County Engineer Dale Foster said his 20 work crews struggled to keep up with the snowfall earlier in the day but were more or less able to match it as it slowed down in the early afternoon.
A mass of cold air to the north had proven stronger than meteorologists anticipated, pushing the storm southward and lowering accumulation forecasts across the board for South Jersey. Cape May County saw an average of between four and six inches, far shy of the double-digit totals forecast over the weekend. A winter storm warning remains in effect until 4 p.m. this afternoon.
Temperatures in the 20s are expected during the day, with steady winds of 10 to 20 mph and gusts of up to 25 mph.
State Police said the light vehicle traffic made for few incidents this morning, as just one traffic accident was reported. State Trooper Jeff Lemoine of the Woodbine station said a vehicle struck a tree on Route 47 in Dennis Township. He said the accident was not serious.
Conditions should be clear but chilly this evening, as temperatures are expected to drop into the low teens on the coast and into single digits inland. Temperatures could hit record lows for early March.