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The Latest: Murphy blames ‘lousy’ forecast in storm response

November 16, 2018

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on gridlock caused by Thursday’s snowstorm (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says a “lousy” forecast contributed to his administration’s response to a pre-winter storm that gridlocked part of the state and snarled rush-hour traffic for hours.

Speaking Friday at a news conference alongside his “storm Cabinet,” the Democratic freshman governor said the state got hit much harder than anyone had forecast. He says his administration is conducting a post-mortem on what went wrong.

Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti apologized to commuters, many of whom were stuck in traffic for hours in Thursday.

State Police Superintendent Col. Pat Callahan said the issue in some places were jackknifed tractor-trailers that snarled the snow-clearing operation.

Murphy says it’s too simplistic to say his administration “dropped the ball,” but he added that “the buck stops with me, period.”

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6:40 a.m.

Commuters across New Jersey are facing a slow ride to work one day after a blast of snow and sleet brought traffic to a stop and led to a wave of criticism of Gov. Phil Murphy.

Murphy is slated to hold a briefing Friday. The Democrat on Thursday tweeted that the storm was worse than forecast, but commuters weren’t buying that. Even his predecessor, Republican Chris Christie, tweeted it took him nearly six hours to travel a distance that normally would take 45 minutes.

NJ Transit bus passengers should expect substantial delays and cancellations because many drivers worked past their normal schedules and federal law mandates a rest period.

New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal has reopened after it closed Thursday because there was no room.

Some West Orange students were forced to sleep at their schools after their buses turned back.

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