New Jersey and Pennsylvania were the first states to declare a State of Emergency in preparation for the approaching winter storm. They will likely not be the only states to enact this declaration. As another powerful nor'easter
takes aim at the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas, residents should be ready for more wind and snow. This will lead to more power outages
and hazardous travel.
On Tuesday afternoon, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy proclaimed that their State of Emergency would go into effect at 8pm EST. The northern part of New Jersey---particularly the counties of Hunterdon, Morris, Sussex, and Warren---are still cleaning up after last weekend's nor'easter.
In New Jersey, a State of Emergency declaration makes state resources immediately available to local governments to help rescue, evacuate, shelter, and provide essential commodities (i.e., heating fuel, food, etc.) to residents. It may also position the state to seek federal assistance if the scope of the event exceeds the state's resources. Governor Murphy is urging residents to stay off of roads Wednesday so as not to interfere with law enforcement and emergency responders.
In neighboring Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf declared a State of Emergency for 26 counties (initially) in the eastern part of the state. Areas near Philadelphia, Allentown, Scranton, and Harrisburg are included in this declaration. The governor is urging all residents to be prepared.
A State of Emergency in Pennsylvania enables the state to quickly obtain resources to help deal with an event such as this winter storm. If needed, this allows access to federal aid to help respond to citizens in these counties.
Travel is strongly discouraged on Wednesday in eastern Pennsylvania. In fact, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has issued a ban on certain vehicle types on several interstate highways.
Elsewhere throughout the Northeast, airlines have cancelled and delayed hundreds of flights. Even Amtrak is expecting a disruption in rail service on Wednesday.
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as we continue to track this major winter storm and its impacts.
-Meteorologist Joe Astolfi