Trenton, NJ - Governor Chris Christie today declared a state of emergency throughout the state as a result of severe weather conditions expected in the coming days. The National Weather Service is forecasting a dangerous nor'easter weather pattern impacting New Jersey beginning on October 1, 2015, including high winds, very heavy rain, inland river flooding, as well as major coastal flooding with heavy surf and beach erosion. The National Hurricane Center currently has forecasted the track for the impending weather event Joaquin, now a major hurricane, showing it moving northward off the mid-Atlantic coast late on or about October 4, 2015, which may cause significant flooding, dangerous storm surges between eight and ten feet, substantial wind damage, and stream and river flooding threatening homes and other structures, and endangering lives in the State These severe weather conditions may cause power outages, impede transportation and the flow of traffic in New Jersey, and thereby make it difficult or impossible for citizens to obtain the necessities of life, as well as essential services such as police, fire, and first aid.
"There are two concerns for New Jersey coming out of the next four days of weather. The immediate threat is for severe flooding on Friday and Saturday, the second is tracking the path of Hurricane Joaquin as those forecasts become clearer over the next 24 to 72 hours. Whether or not Joaquin is a direct issue for New Jersey by Monday, we know that there is definitely going to be moderate and likely to be major flooding events in South Jersey on Friday and Saturday, with 5-6 inches of rainfall expected to come over those two days," said Governor Christie. "At particular risk are communities along the Delaware Bay in Salem and Cumberland counties and the coastal communities in Atlantic and Cape May counties. So as a result I've signed an executive order declaring a State Of Emergency in New Jersey as of this morning, giving our emergency management folks the tools they're going to need to ensure a speedy and an orderly response."
The declaration activates elements of the State Emergency Operations Plan, broadening powers of the New Jersey State Police including traffic control, limiting access and egress from impacted areas.
As provided by the declaration, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management will be authorized to mobilize and deploy resources beginning immediately to respond to the storm conditions, including resources of the New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey Department of Transportation, in coordination with county and municipal emergency management officials in impacted areas throughout the state.
In addition, the following preemptive steps to mobilize government in preparation for the storm are being taken: