Early Dismissal for Mahwah Schools Thursday, Town Warns of ‘Dangerous’ Storm

A forecast calling for up to 10 inches of snow and frigid temperatures has officials warning residents of possible power outages, parking rules and dangerous driving conditions.

The first day back to school after the winter recess will be a short one in Mahwah.

Township schools will be operating on a single session schedule Thursday in light of an impending storm that township officials are warning could be very severe. The district posted the announcement and schedule on its website.

The half-day announcement comes in the wake of a Nixle alert sent out by Mayor Bill Laforet warning of a potentially "dangerous" storm that is predicted to start Thursday.

"Conditions are expected to occur that will make travel dangerous. Please stay off the roads once the storms start unless absolutely necessary," Laforet said in the alert. 

"Remember overnight street parking is prohibited in Mahwah. The wind chills and strong winds present an especially dangerous condition. Please take necessary precautions. Check on neighbors and the elderly."

Orange & Rockland also declared a company-wide Storm Watch in anticipation of the snow, saying staff is standing by to respond in case of power outages in the area.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect from 6 p.m. Thursday to 1 p.m. Friday. The NWS has issued the following prediction:
  • Thursday: Snow showers likely before 8am, then snow showers and freezing drizzle likely. Cloudy, with a high near 30. Northeast wind 8 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no ice accumulation expected. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
  • Thursday Night: Snow with widespread blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 12. North wind 11 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
  • Friday: Snow showers with widespread blowing snow before 10am, then widespread blowing snow and a slight chance of snow showers between 10am and 1pm, then widespread blowing snow after 1pm. High near 17. Wind chill values as low as -8. Northwest wind 15 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
  • Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around -7. Northwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming calm in the evening.
lori dorie January 02, 2014 at 11:44 AM
just got the infamous call from Mayor Laforet. My first comment is, he should get someone who can SPEAK to make these annoying calls. Secondly, I have lived in this area for over 50 years and have experienced much worse storms than is expected today. I don't think I ever remember getting a phone call to tell me to park "on" my driveway or to make sure I have the necessary supplies to get me thru maybe 3 days at most of possible being house bound. How did we ever survive a storm before Mr. Laforet and his annoying phone calls? How much did this cost the taxpayers of Mahwah?
Mona Lot January 02, 2014 at 12:56 PM
Lori dori,just said the same thing about the Mayor,where would we be if we didn't have Billy to help us out of a dangerous snow storm and have all the readers have a snow panic attacks I lived in town many years and it was very rare that the main streets were not plowed at least once I guess there has to be a justification for the money that he and Jim spend for toys.
mahwahwian January 02, 2014 at 05:00 PM
1) lori no one cares you lived here 50 years 2)mona there are only about 10 "readers" on patch and half of them have multiple names
Thunderbird Pride January 02, 2014 at 05:38 PM
WOW! Heaven forbid we have a government that actually talks to us. I got a phone call this morning from Dr. Schoen letting me know that our schools would be on early dismissal. I then got an email from Dr. Schoen saying the same thing. I received the phone call from the Mayor as well which, if I recall, also had instructions about how to sign up for the Nixle alert system which I think it is a great tool that Mahwah and many surrounding towns have. I just received a Tweet from NJ OEM telling me that a State of Emergency has been declared in NJ and all state offices will be closed tomorrow. I also received several Tweets from the Bergen County OEM providing helpful updates and information. I love the fact that our local, county and state governments are using so many different modes of technology to connect to the people they serve. As I have read on more than one one occasion, the "Onecall" phone and email system used by the BOE and the Nixle text and reverse 911 system used by the Town do not cost anything when they are used. The BOE and the town pay a yearly fee to license use of each system which then allows them to send emails or make phone calls to residents as they wish. There is no per use fee. I want to see our town, county and state governments continue to find ways to be more open to the people they serve. I still think it is ABSURD that our Town Council has not found a way to broadcast their meetings on our cable channel. How is it that tons of other towns across NJ with even smaller budgets than Mahwah has have the ability to broadcast their town meetings to the residents but Mawhah can't seem to find a way to do it? How about taking that camera I saw being touted around at Mahwah Day by Councilman Roth and setting it up on a tripod to at least record a council meeting and then upload it to broadcast on the cable channel after the fact? How hard is that? How is it that I can watch other town events recorded and then broadcast on our channel but I can't see a Town COuncil meeting? WHAT A JOKE. What is the Council trying to hide?
lori dorie January 02, 2014 at 06:37 PM
Thunderbird pride, I actually have asked the same question about broadcasting the council meetings and was told that it would take approximately $150,000.00 to set up for broadcasting the meeting which the township at this time does not have. As far as the Council hiding something, the council meetings are open to the public and you are free to attend the meetings at any time. I have attended several and actually find them quite interesting. You should attend one, you might be pleasantly surprised at how efficient our elected councilmen are running our town.
Andy Schmidt January 03, 2014 at 09:13 AM
Amazing how SMART people are the FOLLOWING morning, isn't it. Seems to me as if all weather services had dim predictions starting at the evening, with dangerous driving conditions. Instead of complaining that we were overprepared, count your blessings that this one turned out to be no major event. Some of us have lived long enough to remember that an ice storm in October can paralyze an entire region for days, that sometimes wet snow will bring down branches - severing power lines, and when our public services are already struggling to keep roads open, then having to navigate around parked cars WILL slow recovery for EVERYONE. Sure, I grew up in a region where snow was just water in crystalized form that you can WALK and DRIVE on. But, we have to realize that many people do live by themselves and felt stranded in the various freak hurricanes, ice and snow storms we suffered in the past decade. I'm sure, for them it is very reassuring that the township is reaching out to everyone, giving them the feeling that all services are on stand-by and there's a human voice on the other end. You DO have the option to de-list your cell phones from the school and police notification systems - and you DO have the option not to answer the phone, when you see "Mahwah" in the caller id - and most phones have the technical means to HANG UP on an unwanted call. Given what we have gone through in previous years, I think pulling your pointer finger out of your nose to depress the "hang up" or "end" button your phone is not an unreasonable effort... But of course, that would be to pragmatic.
JoeRobertson January 28, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Mahwahwain, how many names do YOU have?


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