A state of emergency will be enforced across all 21 counties in New Jersey later on Tuesday as the second significant winter storm of the season poses a severe threat of extensive flooding and wind damage throughout the entire metropolitan area.
Governor Phil Murphy declared that the order would be effective from 5 p.m. on Tuesday, enabling the deployment of resources across the state for the duration of the storm. Anticipated rainfall between Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday is expected to range from 2 to 4 inches across the tri-state area, compounding challenges in areas still recovering from last month’s floods and a recent snowfall of over a foot in some regions.
Governor Murphy emphasized the potential exacerbation of the adverse conditions experienced in December and the previous weekend, cautioning residents, especially those in coastal and riverine communities, to adhere to safety protocols and avoid unnecessary travel.
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh declared a state of emergency effective Tuesday evening, with a Red Cross shelter opening for residents choosing to evacuate. High-water vehicles and water rescue boats are on standby for potential rescue operations.
In Newark, officials released a list of commonly flooded intersections to help residents navigate the hazardous conditions. Governor Kathy Hochul of New York did not issue a statewide emergency directive but urged residents to prepare for widespread flooding and power outages, extending to New York City, which is now under a National Weather Service high wind warning.
Although no statewide order was issued, Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine declared a local state of emergency for Long Island counties anticipating intense winds.
The impending system is not expected to bring more snow to Central Park, maintaining its nearly two-year snow drought. However, heavy rain, especially atop existing snow cover from the weekend, is anticipated to make a significant impact.
New York City issued a travel advisory, warning about the challenges of travel during the storm. Heavy rain is expected to start by late morning on Tuesday, intensifying through the night, with temperatures rising into the 50s, contributing to rapid snowmelt.
Widespread river flooding is predicted across New Jersey and the lower Hudson Valley, particularly in snow-covered areas, with the potential for severe flooding. Winds, reaching over 60 mph on Tuesday night, raise concerns of power outages and downed trees, particularly on the Jersey Shore, the South Shore of Long Island, and Staten Island.
The rain is expected to subside before Wednesday morning’s commute, but high winds will persist. A high wind warning will be in effect from Tuesday at 6 p.m. through Wednesday morning for various areas, including Staten Island, Brooklyn, parts of Queens, Suffolk, and Nassau counties in New York. Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, previously housing about 2,000 migrants in emergency shelter, had to be evacuated due to increased wind speed forecasts.
The relocation of migrants from Floyd Bennett Field is a proactive measure for their safety, and updates will be provided as necessary. In New Jersey, Monmouth, Ocean, Cumberland, Atlantic, and Cape May counties are subject to the high wind warning, along with the southern half of Fairfield County in Connecticut.