The first snowfall of the season lingered Friday in the Northeast as thousands of exhausted commuters pointed their fingers at politicians and meteorologists for leaving them creeping along highways or stuck in mass transit hubs because of a surprise storm, per the AP. The storm left seven dead as it moved through the Midwest and South. Some students in West Orange, New Jersey, were forced to sleep at their schools after their buses turned back, while others were taken to a diner to eat because snow-covered roads were clogged with traffic Thursday. In fact, State Police in New Jersey responded to 555 vehicle crashes and aided 1,027 motorists, reports CNN. Bridges and major roads in the New York metropolitan area reopened Friday after many closures caused by crashes during Thursday's storm.
Some drivers woke up in their cars Friday morning after being stuck overnight on the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx. Accidents on the George Washington Bridge halted traffic on the crossing and led to backups in New York and New Jersey. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he understands people are frustrated that city officials were caught off guard by the storm and promised "a full review of what happened here." A mayoral spokesman said the early storm meant that Metropolitan Transportation Authority didn't have snow chains on its buses. He said many of them had to pull over, "further clogging streets." The delays for buses created a logjam, forcing officials to close the doors Thursday at New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal. (The opposite coast is reeling, too. Read the latest on the California fires here.)