By Donald Wittkowski
There was plenty of white stuff in Ocean City on Sunday – on the beaches, the Boardwalk, the streets, the sidewalks and even covering the houses.
While folks at the shore are used to sand being all over the place, on this day they had to contend with another word beginning with an “s” – snow.
“It’s different,” observed Rob Young as he shoveled snow from the sidewalk in front of his home on Sindia Road.
“We’ve been here now for 18 months after moving down from Gloucester County,” Young said of his family. “Every time I come down here, I think to myself, ‘I’ll never shovel as much snow as I did in Gloucester County.’ But it seems like I do.”
Despite being surrounded by ankle-high snow, Young was trying to keep his spirits up by conjuring up relaxing summer days on the beach.
“That’s what keeps me going,” he said, laughing. “That’s why it’s so great living here in the summer. But winters are great, too. There are a lot less people around.”
Altogether, about 4 inches of wet, clumpy snow fell on Ocean City to create a winter wonderland on the beaches, the Boardwalk and the rest of town. It was the first snowfall of 2019.
Throughout the day, the sounds of shovels scraping the sidewalks and snow plows lumbering down the streets filled the air. The timing of the storm over the weekend was fortuitous, city spokesman Doug Bergen pointed out.
“It was fortunate that it happened over the weekend, without people having to travel to work or school,” he said.
While side streets were slushy, the main roads were mostly clear of snow. Bergen said there were no reports of injuries.
“It’s also fortunate that it didn’t involve any flooding,” he said of the storm.
One of the most unusual sights Bergen saw Sunday was a cross-country skier gliding down the Boardwalk.
The famous Boardwalk, which overflows with tourists during summer, was eerily quiet during the storm. However, some people did venture out in the snow.
“We love it,” said Albina Sayfullina while watching her husband, Vadym, and their 2-year-old daughter, Evelina, play in the snow covering the Boardwalk.
Albina Sayfullina became accustomed to snowy winters while living in her native Russia. She moved to the United States 14 years ago.
“The weather here is about the same as it is in Russia right now,” she noted.
On Sunday, Albina Sayfullina built a snowman on the Boardwalk. Well, actually it was a snowwoman. It resembled Princess Anna from the Disney animated film “Frozen.”
The Sayfullinas live in Egg Harbor Township. Albina had a snow day from her job in Ocean City, so the family decided to spend some time together enjoying the Boardwalk.
“She loves the snow,” Albina said as Evelina flapped her arms to make snow angels.
Off the Boardwalk, there were other snowmen taking shape in Ocean City. On Fourth Street, Dallis Turner, his 11-year-old son, Anthony, and his girlfriend, Julianne Sooy, were packing clumps of snow together to create a snowman in front of the Turner house.
“I was hoping we would have enough snow to do this,” Sooy said. “This snow’s perfect for it. It sticks together pretty well.”
Within five minutes, they had already rolled two balls of snow together for part of the snowman’s body. Dallis Turner noted that during a typical winter at the shore, there are only two or three storms that produce enough snow to make a snowman.
Anthony was also enjoying the snow.
“It’s great,” he said while joining his father and Sooy in piecing together the snowman.
But Anthony, a sixth-grader, also had something else in mind while playing in the snow. He was hoping that he would get a snow day from school on Monday.
“Yes,” he exclaimed about wanting to have a day off from school.