Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in New Jersey at 2 a.m. Wednesday, as the state’s first major hurricane is expected to cause up to 18 inches of snow to fall in the state.
The northern half of the Garden State is expected to have more than a foot of snow starting Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Strong winds up to 60 mph are also likely to cause power shortages and coastal flooding.
Murphy said it is poised to be “a major, major snowfall” for the northern parts of the state, but will affect the entire state in some way.
“It will be a statewide weather event,” the governor said during a news conference at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority Traffic Management and Technology Center in Woodbridge. “Every county is currently subject to either a watch or some type of warning.”
All unprofessional state offices will also be closed at 1 pm
- Here’s how the ’emergency situation’ in NJ actually means that major snowstorms near the state
The Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency usually comes with stern warnings for people to stay on the streets, although law enforcement officials do not have the authority to ticket drivers.
But this order empowers first responders to close roads, evacuate homes, and commander equipment or other resources to protect public safety.
In addition, after a high-impact storm, state officials seek financial support from the federal government to make repairs, and an emergency declaration is an essential step in that process.
Officials said there is a possibility that there will be a “whiteout situation” on the streets on Wednesday night, especially in the northern parts of the state.
“If you don’t have a good reason for going out, just don’t go out,” Murphy said. “Don’t tempt fate here.”
Murphy said because so many people are still working from home and many children are learning online during the coronovirus epidemic, officials do not anticipate specific school and rush-hour issues. He said that transportation would allow employees to go on the roads more easily.
“But if you are on the road after the hurricane situation starts, we urge you to please take it slow and use common sense and caution,” Murphy said.
State Transport Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said that about 4,000 are spread over roads in the state.
The department said that there is also 100% capacity for salt. He said that the workers dug roads anywhere on Tuesday, where there was no salt from Monday’s storm.
“Our crew and contractors are ready for the winter season and this storm,” Gutierrez-Scassetti said. “We know that today we are activating all the assets for this storm.”
Officials said utilities are preparing for trees and electrical targets – which are expected, especially in the northern part of the state. He said the utilities are preparing crew from both within New Jersey and outside the state.
According to the National Weather Service, rain is expected to begin in South Korea from this morning and then move north-east into Central and North Jersey in the afternoon.
North Jersey is expected to have at least 12 inches of snow, with the sum being lower in Central Jersey and the South. How much snow falls and where the rain / snow line is formed depends on it.
Murphy said there is likely to be more rain and slush in South Jersey, although there are concerns of coastal flooding with high tides on Thursday morning.
He said the central part of the state would see a mix of slush and snow, with the possibility of 6-12 inches of snow and “substandard conditions”.
North Jersey, he said, could see 12-18 inches with high winds and electric exhaust.
Winter storm warnings in all or part of 13 of New Jersey’s 21 counties begin as early as noon and last until 2 a.m. Thursday.
The state transport department also imposed a commercial vehicle travel ban starting at 1 pm for the length of the following highways in both directions:
- I-78, Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
- I-80, Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
- I-195, I-295 to NJ Route 138
- I-280, I-80 to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
- I-287, NJ Route 440 to New York State Boundary
- Scudder Falls Bridge (Pennsylvania Border) from I-295, I-195
- Route 440, Outerbridge Crossing to I-287
Monitor social media accounts for the Emergency Management Office and NJ State Police for updates:
You can also sign up for text and email alerts:
- NIXLE – www.nixle.com
- Nj alert – www.njalert.gov
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Brent Johnson Can be reached [email protected].