State of Emergency in New Jersey

New Jersey Braces for Potential Disaster as State of Emergency Declared Ahead of Winter Storm

TRENTON, 10 January 2024, N.J. – With the potential for widespread flooding and damaging winds looming, Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency for all 21 New Jersey counties, effective 5 p.m. Tuesday, January 9th. This preemptive measure comes as the second major winter storm of the season barrels towards the Garden State, threatening to exacerbate the already saturated ground and battered infrastructure left behind by December’s storms.

The Storm Threat:

  • Heavy Rain: Forecasters predict widespread rainfall of 2 to 4 inches, concentrated between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Already primed by recent precipitation, the saturated ground amplifies the risk of flash flooding, particularly in low-lying areas and near waterways.
  • Strong Winds: Gusts exceeding 60 mph are expected, especially along the Jersey Shore and the South Shore of Long Island. These powerful winds can topple trees, cause power outages, and create hazardous driving conditions.
  • Potential for Coastal Flooding: High tides coinciding with the storm surge could result in significant coastal flooding. Residents in vulnerable areas are urged to stay informed and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

State of Emergency:

The state of emergency declaration allows Governor Murphy to deploy state resources quickly and efficiently, facilitating a swift response to potential emergencies. This includes activating the National Guard, mobilizing emergency personnel, and ensuring critical supplies are readily available.

Impact and Risks:

New Jersey, still recovering from extensive flooding in late December, faces the potential for renewed devastation. Rivers and streams are already swollen, increasing the risk of overflows. Power outages and downed trees are likely, further disrupting ongoing recovery efforts. Governor Murphy stressed the importance of taking precautions, stating, “Please do not underestimate this storm. This is a serious situation, and we need everyone to be prepared.”

What Residents Can Do:

  • Stay informed: Monitor weather alerts and updates from official sources like the National Weather Service and local emergency management agencies.
  • Prepare your home: Secure loose objects outdoors, clear gutters and storm drains, and stock up on essential supplies like food, water, and medications.
  • Charge devices: Ensure your phones and other electronic devices are fully charged in case of power outages.
  • Develop an evacuation plan: Determine escape routes and have a designated meeting place outside your home in case of flooding.
  • Do not drive through flooded areas: Turn around, don’t drown. Floodwaters can be deceptively deep and conceal hidden hazards.
  • Report emergencies: Dial 911 immediately if you or someone you know is in danger.

This potentially serious winter storm underscores the importance of preparedness and community support. By staying informed, taking precautions, and cooperating with emergency personnel, New Jersey residents can navigate this weather event with caution and resilience.

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