Governor Chris Christie has declared a State of Emergency for Thursday in advance of the severe winter weather blowing up the eastern seaboard and freezing up highways, downing trees and taking out power along the way.

Snow early on Thursday morning in Toms River
Snow early on Thursday morning in Toms River (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

The declaration authorizes the State Director of Emergency Management to continue coordinating all preparation, response and recovery efforts with county and municipal OEM officials and governmental agencies. It also forces the closure of state offices on February 13th for all non-essential employees.

"This winter storm is expected to arrive tonight and last through early Friday morning, and the heavy snow will create hazardous travel conditions across the state," said Governor Christie. "I've authorized state officials to continue all necessary actions, and my Administration will monitor conditions throughout the remainder of the storm. I encourage all New Jerseyans to drive carefully and remain off the roads if possible so that our first responders and public safety officials can safely respond to any emergency situations."

In a written statement from the Governor's office: Tonight's storm is expected to continue into Friday morning, bringing heavy snow, freezing temperatures and mixed precipitation, as well as dangerous and icy conditions that will affect travel throughout the state for several days. A potential mixture of fallen trees, power outages and flooding is anticipated.

According to the Associated Press out of Atlanta, Nor'easter Pox has left more than a half-million homes and businesses without power and 11 deaths across the South. Nearly 3,300 flights have been canceled nationwide.

Townsquare Meteorologist Alan Kasper said the storm is expected to continue through Thursday beginning with snow and changing into a wintry mix. As much as 4 inches or more snow is possible in the shore area and much less near the Ocean. Coastal flooding and beach erosion is a big concern from this weather system.

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