Forgot how to shovel?
It’s been a little while since we needed to break out those shovels, scrapers and blowers. But the storm that brought widely varying snow totals Saturday into Sunday throughout North Jersey — with as little as 1.3 inches to Bergenfield and more than 11 inches to Wantage — has many residents faced with a weekend chore: clearing their driveways and front walks.
And yes, it’s a requirement. Many towns have laws on the books requiring residents to clear the snow within a certain number of hours.
Here are a few tips and reminders about the cumbersome tasks of clearing driveways and sidewalks of the white stuff.
Live updates: Snow rumbles into North Jersey with totals varying widely
What’s the best time to shovel snow?
For a big snowfall, be sure to shovel mid-storm and then again after it passes. City officials will remind you not to dump the snow into the street, but rather fling it back on to your property.
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To avoid shoveling the same snow twice, come up with a plan to clear your driveway and where you’ll deposit the snow. Be sure to clear off vehicles in your driveway before shoveling.
After shoveling, toss pellets or salt close to the ground so they fall uniformly. You don’t need much, a little goes a long way.
When does snow have to be removed?
Rules and regulations about snow removal from shared public areas, like sidewalks, differ based on municipality — so it’s best to consult your town, village or city’s website to see what they advise.
A quick Google search — “Ridgewood, NJ when to shovel snow,” for instance — should get the results you need.
Parker Garofalo, 9 of Rutherford, shovels a little bit of snow from the front of his home before going to school in Rutherford, NJ on Wednesday Feb. 1, 2023.
Here’s an overview of a few North Jersey towns to give you an idea of what to expect:
Ridgewood: Residents must clear snow and ice from sidewalks within 24 hours after the storm has passed.
Wayne: Snow must be removed from the sidewalk within 48 hours after snow or ice has formed.
Hackensack: Remove snow and ice from sidewalks within six hours of daylight after snowfall stopped.
East Rutherford: Sidewalks must be cleared of snow and ice within 12 hours of daylight after snow began.
Passaic: Snow and ice should be removed from the sidewalk within 24 hours after snow began.
Clifton: Snow and ice should be removed within 12 hours after snow began.
Paterson: Snow and ice should be removed within 12 hours of daylight after the snow began.
Little Falls: Snow and ice should be removed within 12 hours of daylight after snow began.
Morristown: Snow and ice should be removed within 12 hours of daylight after snow began.
Fairfield: Snow and ice must be removed from sidewalks within 48 hours of storm ending.
Verona: Must remove snow or ice within 24 hours after it has fallen.
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Shoveling snow does not come without risks, with back and cardiac-related injuries common, according to a USA Today report.
Jan 7, 2024; Passaic, NJ, USA; A man shovels slush from the sidewalk along High Street as a mix of rain and snow falls.
A few things to remember:
Be sure to stretch before and after shoveling
Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated
Use your leg muscles to lift snow and avoid bending your back
Step in the direction of where you’re tossing snow instead of twisting your waist
Stay alert for potential symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and any discomfort “from the belly button on up,” according to USA Today.
This story contains information from USA Today.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Forgot how to shovel, NJ? Here are tips to do it safely