Snow or no snow, everybody has to be somewhere - and across the region Monday, locals made do any way they could.

On a day when police and county officials warned of hazardous conditions - "The roads are more treacherous this morning (than) they have been during other recent storms," cautioned Egg Harbor Township police - a trip onto the roads showed a good number of drivers still attempting to navigate the streets.

In Atlantic City, one driver, Adullah Farooq, was just trying to get off the streets and was having the worst time pulling his car into a spot along Fairmount Avenue.

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"It's so slippery," said Farooq, of Atlantic City. "I've probably spent more than half an hour (at this), and I'm probably in the same spot."

Farooq eventually pulled his car into a not-exactly straight alignment, with some assistance. He needed to get his car safely parked - he needed to catch a ride to New York.

Some people had places they really needed to go. Regina Taylor, dragging her suitcase behind her, walked to a bus stop in Chelsea in Atlantic City.

Anyone wandering upon it might imagine there was some sad story behind the touching scene. So, where was she headed?

"New Orleans," she said, happily. "For Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday. ... At least my flight's not delayed."

Out on Atlantic Avenue, firefighters at Fire Station 1 were busy clearing the sidewalks in from of the firehouse, while at a breakfast place further down the street, workers and families enjoyed a hot meal on a cold day.

One customer went out of his way to make certain he would get into town, despite the weather.

"I deliver bread for the Ginsburg Bakery," said John Brown, of Mays Landing, pouring syrup on his pancakes. "So I got here at 1:30 in the morning. I made sure I got here. ... Just to beat the snow. There are a lot of stores (still) opening up today."

As for the roads, despite the increasing accumulation, Brown only shrugged.

"They're not bad," Brown said. "There are people getting into work."

That opinion wasn't shared by Lisa McBride, of Galloway Township, who cursed the weather as she returned to her table.

"It's very slippery," said McBride, who works at the John Brooks Recovery Center. "I got a ride into the city, and the roads are terrible. I'm surprised the clinic up here isn't closed."

Out on a snowy Black Horse Pike, others were just trying to get into the city.

As police executed a warrant arrest at the Budget Motel across the street - with at least three police cars in front of the small motel on a snowy morning - one man with an unusual name waited in the snow for the bus.

"Got to go to work," he said, with one interested eye on the goings-on across the pike. "Got to get that money."

At first he wouldn't give his name, but reluctantly identified himself as "Billy Bathgate," a namesake to a 1991 American crime film and E.L. Doctorow novel.

At Mazzeo's produce store in Northfield, driver William Brown, of Egg Harbor Township, was busy clearing the sidewalk for customers. Was he surprised at the late winter snow?

"No," he said, almost hitting a reporter who got too close with a fresh batch of shoveled snow. "I've been here 20 years. You always expect everything around here."

Later in the day, business hadn't really picked up at the store, Benjamin Mazzeo III said, but there was still the occasional shipment going out.

"We're still trying to get to our customers that place orders," Mazzeo said. "We're trying to take care of customers as best as we can. We're not going to leave anybody holding the bag."

Then there were those with the responsibility of clearing the way for others. At the Atlantic County public works yard up the road in Northfield, tow and salt trucks stood idling early Monday as drivers rested before going out again to plow before the morning rush. Director Bill Reinert said that trucks had started salting beginning at 3 a.m. - and there was still salt, despite worries about shortages.

"It's March," Reinert said with a laugh, shaking his head. "I was out yesterday, and it must have been 50 degrees and sunny out. Dandelions were pushing out of the ground."

Contact Steven Lemongello:


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