'Shore is getting clobbered': Murphy declares state of emergency for NJ nor'easter

New Jersey's coastal communities are preparing for the worst

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Sunday, January 30, 2022
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Snow from the arriving nor'easter was blowing sideways Saturday as high winds combined with the snow to create dangerous conditions.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Snow from the winter nor'easter was blew sideways across New Jersey Saturday as high winds combined with the snow to create dangerous conditions, particularly along the coastal areas.

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency, and the big message from officials was to stay home. They urged that if you must travel, extra precautions must be taken amid potentially life-threatening conditions.

"The shore is getting clobbered," Murphy said. "It's a statewide event, but the shore is getting clobbered...Please stay home. That is my big plea."

The National Weather Service confirmed a blizzard along the coast. The three criteria for a blizzard are blowing or falling snow, winds of at least 35 miles per hour, and visibility of a quarter mile or less for at least three hours.

Murphy talks with Eyewitness News about the latest storm developments:

A commercial vehicle travel restriction was in effect Saturday, and drivers were urged to use extreme caution.

"Road crews will be deployed throughout the state for salting and snow plowing purposes," Murphy said. "Residents should take extreme caution, stay off the roads, remain vigilant, and follow all safety protocols. "

As Murphy said, coastal communities bared the brunt of the storm, and some areas had seen more than 15 inches by midday.

SNOW TOTALS | How much snow has fallen in NYC and the Tri-State area

The New Jersey Department of Transportation was out in full force ahead of the storm.

"It'll be well over 2,000 pieces of equipment and well over 3,000 individuals who'll be out working across all of the highways," NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.

PSE&G also prepared for strong winds and heavy snow, conditions that ca break tree limbs, pull down wires and cause power outages.

"We continue to monitor the weather, our employees are performing system checks and we have personnel on hand prepping for potential outages," Vice President of Electrical Operations Jack Bridges said. "While forecasts vary, some models predict severe damage and we encourage customers to stay informed and be prepared."

RELATED | Winter hurricane? What is a 'bomb cyclone' or 'bombogenesis'?

Customers should be cautious and stay alert to their surroundings during and after the storm.

PSE&G offered the following safety tips and guidance for customers

--Downed wires should always be considered "live." Stay at least 30 feet away from downed wires, and don't go near the pole or anything touching the line. Immediately contact PSE&G, at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734) via mobile app or our website, to report downed wires and dial 911 if an immediate hazard exists.

--Electric current passes easily through water and wet snow/slush, so stay away from downed electrical wires. Don't drive over - and don't stand near - downed wires.

--Downed wires can potentially be hidden in standing water and snow. If you encounter large pools of standing water, stop, back up and choose another path.

--To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, do not run any gasoline-powered generators in a garage or any other enclosed space.

--If you are on life-sustaining medical equipment, ensure that you alert PSE&G in advance and notify your local police and fire departments. For more information, visit pseg.com/life.

Due to severe winter weather, New Jersey Transit has suspended all bus, River LINE and Access Link services for the remainder of Saturday.

Service is expected to resume at the start of the service day on Sunday. NJ Transit will communicate the resumption of these services following an evaluation of the storm's impacts.

New Jersey Transit has temporarily suspended all bus, River LINE and Access Link services for the remainder of Saturday and is expected to resume Sunday, while Newark Light Rail and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail remain on regular weekend schedules for as long as conditions allow safe operation.

Customers may see the possibility of delays, detours and potential service cancellations as a result of the storm's impacts.

CLICK HERE for the latest on mass transit impacts in the Tri-State area.

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