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Gov. Christie Declares Travel Ban As New Jersey Readies For Major Winter Storm

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency and a travel ban Monday, as a blizzard pounded New Jersey and threatened to dump as much as 2 feet of snow over some areas.

Christie announced Monday night that the entire state of New Jersey was implementing a travel ban, which went into effect at 11 p.m. Monday. The ban was to be subject to revocation at daybreak depending on conditions, Christie said via Twitter.

The ban excludes emergency and public safety personnel, and utility companies and others involved in assisting with storm preparations. Similar bans have been instituted in Connecticut, and in the southernmost 13 counties of New York state.

"This is my sixth winter as governor, I've had double digit states of emergency imposed," Christie said while speaking at the New Jersey Department of Transportation garage in Newark.

Light snow began falling across the state Monday morning. Forecasters are predicting the greatest accumulations for Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hudson, Bergen, Essex and Union counties.

Christie urged people to stay home Monday evening and Tuesday in order to help road crews to clear the highways and streets.

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"We would like to make Wednesday productive for everybody. And the only way for us to make Wednesday productive is for you to give us the opportunity to do our job on Tuesday and this evening," said Christie. "So please stay off the roads, it's not only for your own safety, it's for the operation of the state."

Towns along New Jersey's coast are expected to be the hardest hit by the storm and Jersey Shore communities are watching out for flooding.

The storm had been expected to cause moderate flooding in oceanfront communities between midnight and 1 a.m.

New Jersey Readies For Major Winter Storm

Back bay areas tend to flood several hours after the oceanfront high tide.

The weather service said some property damage could occur, and tides and wave action will cause severe beach erosion.

The state's Emergency Management Office is monitoring the situation.

Snow On New Jersey Turnpike
Vehicles travel on the New Jersey Turnpike on Jan. 26, 2015. (credit: Kevin Rincon/1010 WINS)

NJ TRANSIT shut down service Monday at 8 p.m. The agency initially said train lines would not be restored until Thursday, but later said trains would be back in service as soon as possible, CBS2's Jessica Schneider reported.

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported, commuters were playing a game of beat the clock, trying to get home to train stations, including the one in Westwood, New Jersey.

"I tried to catch a a 2 o'clock train, missed that. So I sat in Hoboken for about two hours. It was very crowded on the train and it was a little anxious," said Jordan Rosenberg.

"There were two alerts that went out. I got an alert earlier that they were gonna close down at 10 p.m. and then a second alert that they were going to close down at 8 p.m.," said Mike Candullo. "So I thought there would be a mad rush going to Penn Station. I actually went to Hoboken, which turned out to be smart because a coworker went to Penn Station and they couldn't even get near the trains."

Christie warned that transit systems may be subject to mass shut downs due to the storm.

"Due to the predicted severity of the storm we're going to have some shut downs," the governor said. "We'll probably start shutting down transit...I don't expect that we'll have transit tomorrow."

If your power goes out, Christie said to call the power company right away so the utility can track all outages, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported.

Gov. Christie Declares State Of Emergency As New Jersey Readies For Major Winter Storm

Crews in Jersey City treated streets with brine ahead of the storm and have up to 4,000 tons of salt available.

Mayor Steven Fulop is asking residents who don't need to be on the roads to stay home or use mass transit.

Hoboken has declared a snow emergency, banning non-emergency vehicle traffic after 9 p.m. Parking is also prohibited on the city's snow routes. Hoboken has reduced the fees to park in Garage B and D.

A warming center will be located at Wallace School.

Dozens of schools have announced early closures for Monday. Jersey City Public Schools announced all schools will be closed Tuesday.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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