Gov. Phil Murphy declares state of emergency for New Jersey starting at noon Saturday

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Watch part of Gov. Phil Murphy's press conference during which he declares a State of Emergency for New Jersey ahead of weekend storm on January 18, 2019.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced Friday afternoon that he is issuing a State of Emergency for the entire state effective 12 p.m. Saturday ahead of the impending weekend storm.

Light snow fell in New Jersey early Friday as the state prepared for a weekend storm, and Governor Phil Murphy warned residents not to be fooled by the dusting because they are expecting several inches to fall late Saturday into Sunday.


"Stay tuned for the weekend, which is a big window with a lot of variability around it," he said. "And at its worst, it could be a lot of snow. So everybody stay safe."

State offices had a two-hour delayed opening on Friday due to the weather conditions, but when it comes to the weekend, Murphy said that he's going to be "the chairman of the overprepare club."

"We've got equipment deployed all over the state," he said. "Roads have been brined. We are doing constant calls. But preparedness is the big watchword. Last winter, we had a series of storms. And while they were commuting challenges, the commutes were largely reasonable given the storms. What wasn't reasonable is we had massive power outages, particularly concentrated on certain pockets of the state. The November storm was completely unacceptable in terms of the commuting experience, but we had very limited outages. We are preparing for something this weekend which could have elements of both, and I'll leave it there."

North Jersey is expecting the brunt of the snow, and officials are asking drivers to stay home and keep off of the roads.

"We're going to brine our roads prior to the storm," said Glen Dowson, of the Mahwah DPW. "We're going to come in a couple hours before and brine the roads and the hills, especially, and get the guys here and try to salt the regular roads and break that barrier between the snow and the ice getting to the asphalt."

Fortunately, this storm comes on a holiday weekend, so there should be a lot less traffic on the roads. But it looks like this next round of snow will force many to start digging out just as the frigid blast of air heads our way on Sunday night.
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