WOODBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a state of emergency beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday, because of a snowstorm that’s expected to dump more than a foot of snow in parts of the state.
With the high accumulations and strong winds expected, authorities warn of power outages and dangerous road conditions.
The governor pleaded with motorists to stay off the roads, and said a commercial travel restriction will be in place on several interstates.
The first big winter storm of 2020 is expected to pack a fierce punch, hitting southern Jersey first, but pummeling northern counties the hardest.
WATCH: Gov. Murphy Declares State Of Emergency In New Jersey
Murphy declared the state of emergency while delivering a warning to families Wednesday morning.
“This will be a statewide weather event. Every county is currently under either a watch or a warning of some sort,” he said.
BREAKING: In preparation for the upcoming winter storm, I’m declaring a STATE OF EMERGENCY beginning at 2:00 PM today.
State offices will be closed beginning at 1:00 PM.
We urge all New Jerseyans to stay off the roads, stay at home, and stay safe. pic.twitter.com/Vij5Oza2TH
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) December 16, 2020
Northern counties are expected to get the most hammering, with 12 or more inches of snow. Accumulations will be less in central and south Jersey, where a mix of snow and sleet is expected.
Wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour could trigger power outages. Coastal flooding is also a concern.
REPORTING POWER OUTAGES
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“Winds may lead to blowing snow in the northern part of the state and driving rain and sleet elsewhere, hampering visibility and making travel that much more dangerous,” said the governor.
In preparation for the storm, PSE&G said it stockpiled extra poles and transformers. The state’s largest utility said it had already performed system checks on critical transmission and distribution equipment.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation is fully activated, with more than 3,000 plows and salt spreaders.
Officials said with storm will intensifying Wednesday evening, it could be difficult for crews to keep pace.
Because so many people are working and learning from home, Murphy said he is hopeful there will be less traffic on the roads during what is normally the evening commute.
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