N.J. governor declares a state of emergency ahead of winter storm

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency on Thursday night ahead of the winter storm that is expected to bring four to six inches of snow to the Princeton region. The state of emergency goes into effect at 10 p.m. Thursday night for all 21 counties in New Jersey.

State offices will have delayed openings at 11 a.m. for non-essential personnel on Friday.

Commercial vehicle restrictions will be in place on multiple interstate highways beginning at 10 p.m. Thursday night.

Officials from the state have asked all residents who can work from home to do so on Friday due to the hazardous driving conditions the storm is expected to create.

“The anticipated winter storm is forecasted to bring significant snowfall statewide, with snowfall rates approaching two inches per hour in certain areas and heavy wind gusts,” Murphy said. “Residents should stay off the roads, remain vigilant, and follow all safety protocols.”

State Director of Emergency Management and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan said troopers throughout the state are ready to assist residents and drivers both on and off of the roads for the duration of this storm. “However, we cannot do it without the help of our communities. Please use caution if you must travel, prepare emergency kits for use at home and in your vehicle, and check on your neighbors,”  Callahan said.

New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti
has issued a commercial vehicle travel restriction on multiple Interstate highways. The
travel restrictions are being coordinated with neighboring states. In addition to the commercial restrictions, all motorists are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel Thursday night and Friday morning.

The commercial vehicle travel restriction will be in place until further notice for the following highways in both directions:
• I-76, from the Walt Whitman Bridge (Pennsylvania border) to Route 42
• I-78, from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
• I-80, from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
• I-195, from I-295 to NJ Route 138
• I-280, from I-80 to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
• I-287, from NJ Route 440 to the New York State border
• I-295, from the north to the Scudders Falls Bridge (Pennsylvania border)
• NJ Route 440, from the Outerbridge Crossing to I-287
• I-676, from the Ben Franklin Bridge (Pennsylvania border) to I-76

The commercial vehicle travel restriction applies to:
• All tractor-trailers
• Empty straight CDL-weighted trucks
• Passenger vehicles pulling trailers
• Recreational vehicles
• Motorcycles

This restriction DOES NOT apply to:
• The New Jersey Turnpike
• The Garden State Parkway
• The Atlantic City Expressway

Trucks that are already in New Jersey when the travel restrictions go into place are encouraged to pull off in truck stops to wait out the storm. Trucks should not park on highway shoulders.