Later on Tuesday, a state of emergency was imposed in all 21 of New Jersey’s counties because the region is at risk of severe flooding and wind damage because of the season’s second big winter storm.
The order, which permits resources to be deployed around the state for the duration of the storm, was announced by Governor Phil Murphy to go into effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Between Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday, the tri-state is predicted to receive a broad 2 to 4-inch downpour and Murphy ordered for the state of emergency declaration.
This is in addition to the more than a foot of snow that fell in certain areas over the weekend and the fact that some areas of New Jersey are still recovering from the flooding that occurred last month.
To avoid flooding downstream, the mayors of Wayne, Pompton Lakes, and Lincoln Park asked that the floodgates on Pompton Lakes Dam be opened in advance of the storm.
The proposal was denied by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which claimed that in this particular situation, opening the dam would not stop flooding.
Regarding the decision made on Tuesday morning, Murphy stated that the science seemed to favor not doing that, given the way these storms behaved and the way the dams responded at the time.
The people at the Environmental Protection team felt very firmly that was the proper way to go, and they were going to see, he said, so it did not imply it would be an easy path that night or the following morning.
The National Weather Service has issued strong wind warnings for Atlantic, Burlington, Cumberland, Cape May, Monmouth, and Ocean counties. The warnings will be in effect from 6 p.m. on Tuesday until 4 a.m. on Wednesday and during this time period, the state of emergency will occur.
The storm may potentially result in widespread power outages throughout the state, Governor Murphy cautioned during a press conference on Monday.
Aside from stressing the need for caution on the road, officials also mentioned the possibility of traffic delays because of predicted water and fallen trees.
Governor Murphy asked people to avoid using the roads unless they were required and follow the declaration of state of emergency.
Beginning on Tuesday night, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh issued an emergency declaration. For those who decide to evacuate their houses ahead of the storm, a Red Cross shelter will open at 60 Temple Street. In case inhabitants need to be rescued, high-water automobiles and water rescue boats are prepared to help.
Closing Of Schools
All Montclair public offices and schools will have a shortened day on Tuesday due to the possibility of flooding and a state of emergency declaration, and all after-school programs have been canceled.
Due to NJ State of Emergency for expected flooding, all MPS schools & offices will have an abbreviated day, Tues., Jan. 9. There will be no after school activities or YMCA after care. Please follow your school's abbreviated day dismissal schedule. Stay safe!
— Montclair Schools (@montclairschls) January 9, 2024
Because of the prediction, which called for a lengthy period of heavy showers on top of melting snow, high gusts, and mixed precipitation, the Orange County district decided to release students early. There are no after-school programs offered.
What Does A State Of Emergency Mean?
A state of emergency is a legal tool that the governor or acting governor may use if they think a disaster or other public emergency has occurred or could happen soon. An executive order is how it is presented.
The declaration’s actual purpose is to break through the state government’s plodding, routine bureaucracy and spur it into preparation or action, even though it may appear to be a call to action for the general public.
The governor’s authority’s assets and resources are released by the order. This would sound as simple as asking the state Department of Transportation to move snow removal equipment into place and tap into rock salt stockpiles in different weather conditions.