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Bergen Executive: Amount Of Drivers On Snowy Roads 'Disheartening'

Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco Photo Credit: DAILY VOICE PHOTO
All's silent here. Photo Credit: Leonia police
Some either ventured out or didn't move their vehicles for the plows. Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Open car window = covered car seats Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero

Most people heeded authorities' warnings that they stay home during Saturday's snow storm -- but not enough of them, Bergen County Jim Tedesco told Daily Voice.

"There are still too many cars on the road," Tedesco said while out with a snow plow. "It’s causing problems for snow removal operations."

Lt. Matthew Tiedemann, the county Office of Emergency Management coordinator, was calling Bergen's dozens of police departments, asking them to post notices asking people to stay off the roads.

The winter storm warning that began at 6 a.m. Saturday will remain in effect until 1 p.m. Sunday, Tiedemann noted.

Some municipalities closed roads: Leonia closed its stretch of Fort Lee Road from the Fort Lee border to Broad Avenue for safety reasons. The DPW was maintaining a lane of traffic for emergency vehicles.

Once the storm ends, Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera said, DPW crews in his town will "hit all the streets so hard so that when we all wake up tomorrow morning, they'll be clear."

That can't happen unless people stay off them, he warned.

Those "who are crazy enough to go out are getting stuck," Mike Saleme, the general manager of Bergen Brookside Towing, told Daily Voice.

In just a few hours, the company -- which has locations in Emerson and Hackensack -- was dispatched to at least a half-dozen winch-out calls for stuck vehicles.

Some vehicles broke down on the entrance and exit ramps to Routes 4 and 17, Paramus police said.

"You can’t see more than 100 feet, people are stuck on little crests and inclines, then you get two or three cars behind them and it’s a situation," said Tedesco, the county executive. "The aggravation involved from people not listening is very disheartening.

"Everything is closed, nobody should be on the road. The governor declared a state of emergency, so everybody should be home."

At the same time, Tedesco said, the main county roads were being cleared -- thanks to 49 plows, 19 salters and 18 contractor plow trucks.

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