Greater Morristown’s snowfall champ is (drum roll, please) … Morris Plains!

Morristown nor'easter, March 7, 2018. Photo by Grace Prachthauser
Morristown nor'easter, March 7, 2018. Photo by Grace Prachthauser


Morris Plains received a whopping 26 inches of snow during Wednesday’s nor’easter, according to the National Weather Service.

In Morris County, only Kinnelon, with 31 inches, and Montville, with 26.8 inches, got hit harder.  In Bergen County, Oakland also reported 26 inches.

Across the northeast, Kinnelon trailed only Woodford, VT., which got 36 inches.

The Morristown fire department at work during nor'easter, March 7, 2018. Photo by Grace Prachthauser
The Morristown fire department at work during nor’easter, March 7, 2018. Photo by Grace Prachthauser

These are not the sort of records that towns shoot for, Morris Plains Mayor Frank Druetzler said on Thursday.

“I don’t want to have these high totals,” he said. “In my entire life I don’t ever recall a snowstorm so intense, for so long a period.”

In some places, snow fell at a rate of 3- to 4 inches per hour, said Meteorologist Valerie Meola of the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, NJ.

“The storm intensified pretty quickly along the coast. There was a lot of lift” — updrafts of moisture that generated the rapid snowfall, she explained.

Druetzler commended the Morris Plains public works department for clearing roads quickly. “They did a super job,” he said.

Some borough residents lost power, cars were damaged by falling trees, and it may take a month to clear all the downed limbs, Druetzler estimated. “But it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Elsewhere in Morris County, Butler had 25.5 inches; Randolph, 23; Boonton, 22.1; Parsippany, 21.7; and Denville, 20.2, according to the National Weather Service.


Morristown got “only” 18.1 inches, and Morris Township, 17 inches.  Other scorekeepers claimed higher totals, however.

“We got at least two feet,” said Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty.

Yet he pledged that The Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade will happen as scheduled at noon on Saturday.

“We’ll be ready,” Dougherty said. He urged spectators to use Morristown Parking Authority garages (DeHart Street, Ann/Bank streets, Cattano Avenue), because side streets still may closed.

Parking in those garages will be free between 10 am and 6 pm on parade day, Dougherty said.

The parade’s makeup date of March 24, 2018, would conflict with March for Our Lives, a gun reform march in Morristown organized by high school students.

Regarding power outages, Dougherty said Jersey Central Power & Light continues to focus on opening roads across the state that have been closed by falling wires. The Mayor advised anyone with a safety issue or special health needs to call 911.

While a town ordinance requires residents to clear sidewalks and crosswalks within 12 hours of a snowfall, Dougherty urged caution for anyone shoveling snow.

“It’s heavy snow, the kind of snow that causes heart attacks. Do a little at a time. If you’re having a hard time, call town hall and we’ll figure something out. We don’t want people having heart attacks,” Dougherty said.

As towns across the northeast dig out, forecasters are keeping an eye on another storm system for early next week.

Some models show this one staying south of our region, said Meola of the National Weather Service.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty with that system,” she said. With so many people still without power after back-to-back nor’easters, “we’ll be watching this one closely.”

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