TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has imposed a state of emergency on the entire state in advance of the second nor’easter to hit in less than a week. The order takes effect at 8 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Murphy says every level of state government is ready for whatever Mother Nature may deliver, but it would really help if residents would exercise some common sense as the storm batters the state on Wednesday.
“Please do not venture out onto the roads during the storm,” Murphy told reporters at the State Emergency Management office just outside Trenton. “We’re erring on the side of caution, but objective caution.”
Bottom line, the state’s top priority is keeping people safe. He also recognizes that many people will venture onto roads at the height of the storm anyway.
Murphy is asking drivers to stay out of the way of road crews trying to clear highways of ice and snow.
Whether schools and local governmental offices will shut down is a local call. As of Tuesday afternoon, no decision had been made on how state government might be affected.
This impending nor’easter comes as more than 40,000 utility customers in New Jersey are still without power following last week’s destructive nor’easter.
Murphy expressed some frustration with utilities in Northwestern New Jersey, where thousands of people are still without power from Friday’s storm.
“There are many folks out there who are frustrated, and that includes me,” he said. “At one level, listen. There was some good reasons early on.”
Most of the affected customers are in northern Jersey.
“We’re pressing hard as heck on utilities to resolve this,” Murphy added.
South Jersey will have its own challenges. Pat Gallagher, the superintendent of public works in Bellmawr, says unlike many winter storms, bringing the roads before this storm won’t help much.
“Mostly we do brine this town, but this storm, it’s going to rain first so when it rains first you can’t lay the brine down, if you do you waste it. You have to wait until the snow gets on the street before you can lay the salt for it to work,” says Gallagher.
So far this winter, Bellmawr Borough in Camden County has used about 200 tons of salt, but officials say they have plenty left.
“Today we loaded up three salt trucks, 15 plow trucks and numerous men are on call,” says Gallagher.
The new storm is expected to drop several inches of snow across most of the state on Wednesday, with up to a foot possible in northwestern areas. But the winds won’t be as strong as last week’s system.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)