Home / U.S. / Christie declares a state of emergency in 4 counties, closes state offices when the blizzard hits N.J.

Christie declares a state of emergency in 4 counties, closes state offices when the blizzard hits N.J.

Gob. Chris Christie on Thursday declared a state of emergency in four counties along the Jersey shore when a snowstorm hit the state.

In a tweet, the governor said he had made the emergency designation for Cape May, Atlantic, Ocean and Monmouth counties.

"Please stay away from the roads and stay warm and warm," he said.

Christie had initially ordered a two-hour delay on Wednesday night, but called for closing state offices as conditions worsened throughout the state.

The governor ordered all "non-essential" employees who are not involved in the response to the storm to stay at home. The leadership in the state Legislature also canceled its scheduled session for Thursday.

The emergency declaration means that people must stay off the roads so they do not interfere with law enforcement and emergency services.

The National Weather Service on Thursday predicted a large amount of possible snowfall across the state, from as little as 1 inch in northern New Jersey to 18 inches along the Jersey Shore.

State emergency management officials have the power to redirect traffic or close roads to protect public safety, in accordance with state law. Local, county and state authorities can close roads or cut off access to shopping centers or commercial plazas if conditions become dangerous.

The governor may declare government offices closed, but he can not force private companies to close their operations. An emergency declaration does not mean that motorists will be fined simply for being on the roads.

Declaring a state of emergency also allows states to qualify for federal funds that can be used for immediate response and recovery.

State Garden Residents can check the state's emergency preparedness website, www.ready.nj.gov for more information. Information on road conditions will be available on the New Jersey Department of Transportation website: https://www.511nj.org/

S.P. Sullivan can be contacted at ssullivan@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter . Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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