A nor’easter moved Wednesday along the South Jersey shore, bringing thundersnow with lightning that struck a teacher on the mainland in southern Ocean County.
The middle school teacher from Toms River was struck by lightning in Manchester Township while she was on bus duty, police said. The 33-year-old eighth-grade teacher was standing outside about 2:30 p.m. when her umbrella was struck, Manchester police Capt. Todd Malland said in a news release.
She was taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, Monmouth County, for treatment and evaluation of nonlife-threatening injuries, the release said.
Close to the shore in Atlantic County, Wednesday’s rain switched over to snow after 2 p.m. Snow began falling in the western part of the county at 11 a.m. Some businesses closed early and after-school events were canceled at some Atlantic and Ocean county schools.
The storm hit on the 56th anniversary of the 1962 “Ash Wednesday Storm,” which caused major damage along the coast and is still considered one of the strongest storms to ever hit the Jersey Shore.
Thursday’s weather is expected to be a break for South Jersey, which also was hit by a nor’easter last Friday.
Temperatures will start out in the upper 20s. There will be a few areas of refreezing to contend with, making the morning commute slick in spots, Press of Atlantic City Meteorologist Joe Martucci said.
NJ Transit was anticipating resuming bus service statewide starting at 4 a.m. Thursday. Access Link was scheduled to resume regular service in Region 3 (Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Southern Ocean) at 7 a.m. Thursday.
Rail service on the Atlantic City lines was heavily impacted by the storm. A service update on this line will be announced as it becomes available.
Cleanup from Wednesday' storm and the possibly of refreezing Thursday is causing some school districts to delay their openings and close entirely on Thursday.
In the Somers Point School District, there will be no SMILE program before school, and there will be a 2-hour delay to the start of the school day.
The Folsom Schoo, Hammonton Public Schools and the International Academy of Atlantic City Charter School will be closed on Thursday.
Absecon schools, the Estell Manor School, all Greater Egg Harbor Regional high school, the Cumberland County Technology Education Center, all Vineland Public Schools and the Barnegat Township School District will have a 2-hour delayed opening.
The Commercial Township School District, Cumberland County, will have a 90-minute delayed opening. The Compass Academy Charter School in Vineland and the Upper Deerfield Township Schools will both will have a 2-hour delay.
Other South Jersey schools with delayed openings Thursday include Mullica Township, Port Republic, Hamilton Township, Egg Harbor City, Weymouth Township and Galloway Township.
Gov. Phil Murphy declared all state offices will have a 2-hour delayed opening on Thursday due to inclement weather. Non-essential personnel should report two hours from normal reporting time. Essential employees should report on schedule.
Temperatures will then rise into the mid-40s by afternoon. Any snow that fell Wednesday will melt because of the above-freezing temperatures and the strong March sun, Press of Atlantic City meteorologist Joe Martucci said.
Flooding is not expected to get much worse than what it was on Wednesday, according to Cape May County Emergency Manager Marty Pagliughi.
The storm also did not cause any major power outages like what was seen last Friday across the region. And high tides, which brought flooding to parts of Atlantic City, Sea Isle and Wildwood over the weekend, are not expected to worsen on Thursday.
“We’re watching the winds now, but they seem to have peaked at this point,” Pagliughi said later Friday. “(Atlantic City Electric) restored the power last week fairly quickly. If we were looking at any type of prolonged power outages, we would open warming shelters.”
Pagliughi added he did not expect any significant beach erosion to occur at any of the shore towns.
North Jersey, however, was not as lucky.
Snowfall totals a foot plus were common northwest of I-95 once you went north of Mercer County. 17.8 inches of snow fell in Princeton. Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties were the big winners, though. All three counties had at least a report of 20 inches or more of snow. As of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Montville had the highest in the state, with 26.8 inches of snow.
“They’re into a snow event up there, and I know they were still dealing with power outages,” Pagliughi said. “We’ll keep watching for any changes down here.”