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'This Is A Big One': New Jersey Gov. Murphy Tells Residents To Stay Indoors As Winter Storm Dumps Heavy Snow Across State

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — Stay off the roads and hunker down as strong winds and heavy snow lash New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday. As the snow continued to fall on Monday, the governor announced that state offices and all six vaccine mega-sites will remain closed on Tuesday.

This decision was made with the notion that hazardous conditions will continue throughout the day tomorrow.

As of 7 p.m., New Jersey State Police have responded to at least 616 crashes. Roads are still slick and the Garden State remains in a state of emergency.

South Jersey did not escape the snowstorm that's pummeled our region. Eyewitness News found folks out in Merchantville clearing the snow from their walkways.

"I've been out here shoveling by hand all day, but it got heavy in the last two or three hours. I got the snowblower so I figured I break it out and get a head start so I can get to work on time tomorrow," Merchantville resident John Grasso said.

As Grasso was working on clearing his driveway to prepare for his trek to work, we found a Philadelphia resident heading home from work early in Cherry Hill after management saw the road conditions.

"Everybody's trying to take their time right now. It's getting thicker out here now," Leon Singleton said.

Another South Jersey resident we spotted on the roadway says he was only out for an essential trip,  otherwise, he would be at home.

"It's good to stay home. I came out for rock salt actually so I could clear out the front of my house," Jonathan Benique said.

Benique says he witnessed a lot of accidents on the roadways, and he's making sure he makes it back home safely.

"I'm going back up the road, I'm taking my time. I'm patient and I'm not in a rush," he said.

Murphy said there were just a few power outages as of late Monday morning, leaving about 1,500 customers without electricity.

However, he added that high winds are likely to knock out power to customers people across the state heading into Tuesday.

"Heavy snow, coastal flooding, and high winds are expected to continue across the state today into tomorrow," Murphy said."I urge all of our residents to follow weather-related guidance and stay off the roads in order to allow access for essential workers and emergency personnel."

"This is a big one and it's going to be with us at this point, we think, until tomorrow night," Murphy said during a Monday press conference.

Murphy pleaded with residents to stay indoors and not be on the roads during the storm.

"If you don't need to be out, go back to your house immediately," Murphy said. "If you're in your house, don't leave your house."

South Jersey suburbs are expected to get 8 to 12 inches of snow, then 4 to 8 inches for the Pine Barrens and 2 to 4 inches of snow along the coast.

Eyewitness News reporter Matt Petrillo caught some flooding along the Jersey Shore in Sea Isle City.

North Jersey is expected to get the brunt of the snowfall.

Murphy on Sunday declared a state of emergency in order to deploy resources as needed. Murphy also closed all state government offices for nonessential personnel and the state's six mega sites that distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

All New Jersey Transit trains and buses were suspended, except for the Atlantic City Rail Line. New York Waterway ferries also were suspended.

Trained spotters early Monday reported an inch of snow fell in Cape May County and there were 7 inches in Hunterdon County, the National Weather Service said.

A winter storm warning remained in effect until Tuesday for much of the state. Forecasters were predicting Sussex, Warren and Morris counties in the north could see additional snow accumulations of 16 to 22 inches.

The central part of the state could get an additional 10 to 15 inches.

CBS3's Kimberly Davis contributed to this report.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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