Tri-State residents woke up Monday to evidence that the winter is not over yet. It’s all part of the trailing edge of a huge Noreaster that’s buried the U.S. Eastern seaboard.
So far most areas received anywhere between 4 to 12 inches of snow. Forecasters are predicting that the storm finally clears out late Tuesday and that most of the Tri-State would escape the massive snowfall.
And that’s left streets and highways a slippery, slushy mess. While the Monday rush hours were no fun, it could be even worse by Tuesday morning as more snow falls on the of New York.
Scores of flights have been cancelled at Newark, LaGuardia and Kennedy airports. If you’re looking for a March break, you should check with your airline first.
In New Jersey acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco declared a state of emergency and ordered state offices and courts closed Monday. The governor feels the best course of action is to keep people off the road.
The mixed precipitation that fell throughout most of the state on Sunday was expected to continue through Tuesday morning. The combination of rain, ice, freezing rain and snow did create some slick and slippery roads across the state, but traffic was moving without delay on the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike, where speed limits were lowered to 45 mph for the length of the roadway.
School districts in northern and central New Jersey canceled classes for Monday. Many businesses also closed their doors. Forecasts originally called for up to 2 feet of snow in most of the state, but the outlook was scaled back. Eight to 12 inches is now expected in the central part of the state and 4 to 8 inches in southern New Jersey by Tuesday morning.
Acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco declared the state of emergency at about 4 p.m. Sunday. It allows state police to close roads and issue orders to municipal police. It also lets the National Guard ask employers to excuse reservists.
“This is a matter of public safety,” DiFrancesco said after a briefing from National Guard, state police and Department of Transportation officials. “This is about warning people, protecting people.”
The National Guard had about 200 troops deployed Sunday night and was prepared to call 10,000 reservists. Emergency operations centers were expected to be open in most of New Jersey’s 21 counties early Monday morning.
Up to 2,000 snow-clearing vehicles were expected to be on major highways Monday. Power companies were also bracing for the storm. NJ Transit has an emergency hot line at 973-491-7400 so passengers can check the status of train and bus routes.