Pennsylvania, New Jersey declare state of emergency ahead of winter storm

Andrew Kramer
January 18, 2019 - 1:38 pm
Snow Plow
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A state of emergency has been declared in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey as the Philadelphia region braces for a winter storm this weekend. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed the state of emergency declaration early Friday afternoon, and it went into effect immediately. 

"The declaration of emergency allows for additional help from neighboring states," Wolf said, "and standing up the Pennsylvania National Guard to ensure a swift response to possible changing needs."

It also lets state agencies use as many resources and personnel as need be. Wolf says the Commonwealth will also impose speed restrictions and ban commercial traffic on most interstates and the Pennsylvania Turnpike from noon Saturday to noon Sunday.

RELATED: One snowfall down; one more to go — and many expect it to be worse

A few hours after Wolf's declaration, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a state of emergency beginning at noon Saturday.

Murphy acknowledged that South Jersey is more likely to see rain than snow, but said the storm still presents a danger, especially to drivers.

"The bigger culprit for this storm, we believe, will be the potential for ice and freezing rain," Murphy said, "and the expected severe drop in temperatures on the back end as the system moves away late Sunday."

And like Pennsylvania, Murphy said there will be travel restrictions in the Garden State.

"On roads North of Interstate 195," the governor said, "but not the New Jersey Turnpike."

Both Murphy and Wolf are advising residents to stay home and stay off the roads this weekend, if possible.

Stay with KYW Newsradio for the latest weather news eight times every hour as Winter Storm Harper approaches.