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December 16, 2020

New Jersey issues state of emergency as winter storm approaches region

All non-essential state offices have been ordered to close, and a commercial vehicle restriction has been implemented to keep drivers off the roads

Weather Snowstorm
New Jersey winter storm snow.jpg Edwin J. Torres/New Jersey Office of the Governor

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is urging residents to stay home and off the roads with the impending snow storm arriving to the state on Wednesday.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and other state officials are urging residents to stay off the roads and stay home on Wednesday as the impending winter storm approaches the region.

“Please be safe, and if at all possible, please stay home,” Murphy said on Wednesday.

A state of emergency has been declared, and all non-essential state offices have been ordered to shut down. 

New Jersey has also implemented a commercial vehicle restriction along interstate highways. The ban applies to empty straight CDL-weighted trucks, any passenger vehicles towing trailers, motorcycles and recreational vehicles.

The mandate, however, does not include the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway or the Atlantic City Expressway.

Public safety vehicles and personnel, as well as individuals supporting health care facilities or critical infrastructure by providing fuel and food, are exempt from the state’s travel restrictions.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has begun treating roads and highways across the state, preparing towing equipment and deploying 3,000 plows and salt spreaders.

If one needs to be on the road, state officials urged travelers to drive slowly and stay away from plowing operations.

NJ Transit rail service is operating on a severe weather schedule. Bus, light rail and Access Link lines will operate on a normal service schedule as long as conditions allow.

Riders have been advised to anticipate delays and detours, as well as service cancellations and suspensions. They also should account for additional travel time into their schedules.

Cross-honoring of all tickets is in effect for rail, bus and light rail lines, as well as private carriers, across the state.

Customers are urged to use caution around bus stops, stations and facilities given the likelihood of slippery conditions.

“To prepare our system, snow fighting supplies and equipment have been mobilized across the state and are ready to be deployed as conditions warrant,” said NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett. 

“We have maintenance crews strategically located throughout our system to immediately respond to fallen trees, downed overhead wires or any other issues impacting service. We urge our customers to limit travel to essential purposes only.”

While a wintry mix of snow and rain and strong winds are expected to arrive in South Jersey on Wednesday, more snow is forecasted in the central and northern parts of the state. Widespread power outages are anticipated as well.

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