State of Emergency issued for Atlantic, Salem Co.

July 1, 2012 6:25:32 AM PDT
Due to power outages and damage from weekend storms, Atlantic and Salem Counties have each issued a State of Emergency.

Severe thunderstorms which packed heavy rain, lightning and strong winds, hit parts of New Jersey. The storms left at least three people in the state dead and has knocked out power to hundreds of thousands.

Due to the State of Emergency being issued, there will be restricted travel in the affected counties so crews could clear debris and assess damage caused by the storm.

Gov. Chris Christie travelled to South Jersey with some of his Cabinet members on Saturday for a briefing and also held a press conference to discuss restoration plans.

Ahead of the upcoming Fourth of July festivities, there is special concern for the impact of unauthorized firework usage.

"So please, if you have them you're not supposed to but if you do please don't use them. It's going to put everybody at risk and put more strain on the emergency system that is already working hard to get things back to normal," said Gov. Christie.

Crews continued to work feverishly Sunday to restore service as temperatures are forecasted to rise into the mid-90s.

Utilities companies warned that it could take several days for electricity to be restored to all customers.

Residents are urged to stay away from all downed wires, even if they don't appear to be active.

Meanwhile Gov. Christie has called on the National Guard to bring in generators, fuel and water to aid residents.

Gov. Christie also spoke with officials from Verizon about providing temporary cell towers to boost communication efforts for emergency workers.

Cooling and water stations are also being set up as need and people are urged to stay off the roads as much as possible.

Find out about Breaking News as it happens. Sign up for Breaking News Alerts.