Murphy’s storm advice: ‘Sit on the couch, stay home’ until Tuesday
Gov. Phil Murphy is urging people to ride out the storm by staying wherever they are.
The snowstorm, which already had dumped several inches across the state, was picking up intensity Monday afternoon.
"If you don't need to be out, do not go out. If you're out right now and you don't need to be out, safely find your way home, lock the door, sit on the couch and stay home until further notice," Murphy said during a news conference at the Statewide Traffic Management Center in Woodbridge.
By being on the roads, Murphy said people are jeopardizing their own lives and the lives of emergency workers who have to be on the roads.
A state of emergency is in effect for the storm but it does not ban driving. The state had more than 3,000 pieces of plowing and salting equipment in use.
State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan said troopers had responded to 340 motor vehicle crashes and helped 295 motorists with flat tires and spinouts between 6 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday.
Callahan said the driver of a tractor trailer that jackknifed on eastbound Route 80 near Exit 12 in Hope Township was issued a summons for careless driving and for impeding the flow of traffic.
Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez Scaccetti said New Jersey Turnpike drivers should not use the turns between the barriers of the inner and outer lanes, which she said is illegal and "extraordinarily dangerous."
Board of Public Utilities Commissioner Joseph Fiordaliso said power outages would be likely late Monday if winds increase past 40 mph.
Utilities have already brought in crews from out of state to assist with repairs, he said.
"While you still have power, I encourage you to charge all your devices, your telephone, your computer and whatever other devices need to be charged," Fiordaliso said.
Murphy said decisions on whether to reopen vaccine megasites or restore service on NJ Transit on Tuesday would be made late Monday.
"Where the snow has been heavy it's been very heavy — snowfall totals are already over a foot in places like Succasunna, Somerville, and South Plainfield," New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. "From Mercer and Monmouth counties south, sleet and rain have cut into snow totals dramatically. It's sloppy, but you're not buried."
Zarrow said additional bands of heavy snow (and sleet and rain to the south) will continue throughout the day.
"The nor'easter will not depart the neighborhood until sometime on Tuesday," Zarrow said.