TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a state of emergency Wednesday ahead of the powerful winter storm that will begin moving through this afternoon. The state of emergency goes into effect at 2 p.m.

South Jersey will see a wintry mix or just rain while the northern part of the state is expected to be walloped with 12 to 18 inches of snow.

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Murphy said state offices will be closed at 1 p.m.

“We urge all New Jerseyans to stay off the roads, stay at home, and stay safe,” Murphy said.

Murphy is warning the Nor’easter could lead to power outages across the state.

“If you experience a blackout, please immediately report it. If you see a downed power line, stay a safe distance away and call it in,” the governor said.

The state’s Department of Transportation have been treating the roadways in preparation for the winter storm. A commercial vehicle restriction is in place along interstate highways.

With the storm happening during a deadly pandemic, Murphy reminded residents to maintain social distancing and wear their masks while helping out neighbors.

“This is our first weather emergency of this pandemic and we don’t want anyone’s last-minute preparations to inadvertently become an instance where they’re exposed to coronavirus or intentionally or unknowingly spread it to others,” Murphy said. “We’re going to want to chip in to help our neighbors and help out, especially our older residents. But please keep in mind for the need of maintaining social distancing and wearing a facial covering while doing so.”

A winter weather advisory has been issued for the New Jersey and Delaware suburbs, while a winter storm warning is in effect for all of southeastern Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday night, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a proclamation of disaster emergency ahead of today’s winter storm, which could bring up to 2 feet of snow in parts of our region.

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