Executive Order No. 218 (2021) -

Executive Order No. 218 (2021)

Governor Philip D. Murphy

Executive Order No. 218 (2021)

An Order Declaring a State of Emergency in Response to the Expected Winter Storm

Issued: January 31, 2021.

Effective: January 31, 2021.

WHEREAS, beginning Sunday, January 31, 2021, and continuing through Tuesday, February 2, 2021, the State of New Jersey is expected to experience a major, prolonged nor'easter winter storm causing hazardous weather conditions including heavy mixed precipitation, high winds, blizzard-like conditions, coastal flooding, and total snow and ice accumulations of 12 to 18 inches in a substantial portion of the State; and

WHEREAS, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for central and northern New Jersey, and a coastal flood watch for coastal areas of New Jersey over the three tide cycles from Monday morning to Tuesday midday; and

WHEREAS, snow accumulation has begun on Sunday afternoon, with the heaviest snow expected to fall during the day on Monday, exceeding one inch per hour at points, and dangerous road conditions making travel difficult to impossible beginning late Sunday night through much of Monday; and

WHEREAS, strong winds, especially near the coast and over water, with gusts reaching 40 to 50 mph are expected on Monday, with inland winds reaching 35 to 45 mph, reducing visibility and hindering travel because of blowing and drifting snow; and

WHEREAS, widespread roadway flooding is possible in coastal and bayside communities and along inland tidal waterways, making roadways impassable; and

WHEREAS, this major, prolonged nor'easter winter storm is expected to produce hazardous travel conditions due to accumulated snow and ice, especially during the morning and evening commuting periods on Monday, February 1, 2021, and the morning commuting period on Tuesday, February 2, 2021; and

WHEREAS, this major, prolonged nor'easter winter storm is expected to produce hazardous travel conditions even for areas that receive lesser snowfall totals, and to make clearing snow and ice very difficult; and

WHEREAS, as part of the State's response to this major, prolonged nor'easter winter storm, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation ("DOT") has issued an Administrative Order(s) regarding vehicle travel restrictions pursuant to N.J.S.A. 27:1A-5, N.J.S.A. 27:3A-3, and N.J.S.A. 39:4-8.3; and

WHEREAS, strong winds are expected which may cause downed power lines and trees, resulting in power outages, and will impede the normal operation of public and private entities; and

WHEREAS, these serious weather conditions will 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; and

WHEREAS, this impending significant winter storm constitutes an imminent hazard that threatens and presently endangers the health, safety, and resources of the residents of the State; and

WHEREAS, this situation may become too large in scope to be handled in its entirety by the normal county and municipal operating services in some parts of this State, and this situation may spread to other parts of the State; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution and statutes of the State of New Jersey, particularly the provisions of N.J.S.A. App. A:9-33, et seq., N.J.S.A. 38A:3-6.1, N.J.S.A. 38A:2-4, and all amendments and supplements thereto, confer upon the Governor of the State of New Jersey certain emergency powers;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the State of New Jersey DO DECLARE and PROCLAIM that a State of Emergency exists throughout the State of New Jersey, effective at 7:00 p.m. on January 31, 2021; and I hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:

1. I authorize and empower the State Director of Emergency Management, who is the Superintendent of State Police, to implement the State Emergency Operations Plan and to direct the activation of county and municipal emergency operations plans, as necessary, and to coordinate the recovery effort from this emergency with all governmental agencies, volunteer organizations, and the private sector.

2. I authorize and empower, in accordance with N.J.S.A. App.A:9-33, et seq., as supplemented and amended, the State Director of Emergency Management, who is the Superintendent of State Police, through the police agencies under his control, and with consideration of any Administrative Order(s) issued by the Commissioner of the DOT, to determine and control the direction of the flow of vehicular traffic on any State or interstate highway, municipal or county road, and any access road, including the right to detour, reroute, or divert any or all traffic and to prevent ingress or egress from any area that, in the State Director's discretion, is deemed necessary for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and to remove parked or abandoned vehicles from such roadways as conditions warrant.

3. I authorize and empower the Attorney General, pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-213, acting through the Superintendent of State Police, and with consideration of any Administrative Order(s) issued by the Commissioner of the DOT, to determine and control the direction of the flow of vehicular traffic on any State or interstate highway, municipal or county road, and any access road, including the right to detour, reroute, or divert any or all traffic, to prevent ingress or egress, and to determine the type of vehicle or vehicles to be operated on such roadways. I further authorize all law enforcement officers to enforce any such order of the Attorney General or Superintendent of State Police within their respective municipalities.

4. I authorize and empower the State Director of Emergency Management to order the evacuation of all persons, except for those emergency and governmental personnel whose presence the State Director deems necessary, from any area where their continued presence would present a danger to their health, safety, or welfare because of the conditions created by this emergency.

5. I authorize and empower the State Director of Emergency Management to utilize all facilities owned, rented, operated, and maintained by the State of New Jersey to house and shelter persons who may need to be evacuated from a residence, dwelling, building, structure, or vehicle during the course of this emergency. Individuals housed or sheltered pursuant to this Order are exempted from transient guest and seasonal tenant restrictions permitted by Administrative Order Nos. 2020 8-9 issued on April 4, 2020 and April 24, 2020, respectively, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

6. I authorize and empower the executive head of any agency or instrumentality of the State government with authority to promulgate rules to waive, suspend, or modify any existing rule, where the enforcement of which would be detrimental to the public welfare during this emergency, notwithstanding the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act or any law to the contrary for the duration of this Order, subject to my prior approval and in consultation with the State Director of Emergency Management. Any such waiver, modification, or suspension shall be promulgated in accordance with N.J.S.A. App. A:9-45.

7. I authorize and empower the Adjutant General, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 38A:2-4 and N.J.S.A. 38A:3-6.1, to order to active duty such members of the New Jersey National Guard who, in the Adjutant General's judgment, are necessary to provide aid to those localities where there is a threat or danger to the public health, safety, and welfare and to authorize the employment of any supporting vehicles, equipment, communications, or supplies as may be necessary to support the members so ordered.

8. In accordance with the N.J.S.A. App. A:9-34 and N.J.S.A. App. A:9-51, I reserve the right to utilize and employ all available resources of the State government and of each and every political subdivision of the State, whether of persons, properties, or instrumentalities, and to commandeer and utilize any personal services and any privately-owned property necessary to protect against this emergency.

9. In accordance with N.J.S.A. App. A:9-40, no municipality, county, or any other agency or political subdivision of this State shall enact or enforce any order, rule, regulation, ordinance, or resolution which will or might in any way conflict with any of the provisions of this Order, or which will in any way interfere with or impede the achievement of the purposes of this Order.

10. It shall be the duty of every person or entity in this State or doing business in this State and of the members of the governing body and every official, employee, or agent of every political subdivision in this State and of each member of all other governmental bodies, agencies, and authorities in this State of any nature whatsoever, to cooperate fully with the State Director of Emergency Management in all matters concerning this State of Emergency.

11. In accordance with N.J.S.A. App. A:9-34, N.J.S.A. App. A:9-40.6, and N.J.S.A. 40A:14-156.4, no municipality or public or semipublic agency shall send public works, fire, police, emergency medical, or other personnel or equipment into any non-contiguous disaster-stricken municipality within this State, nor to any disaster-stricken municipality outside this State, unless and until such aid has been directed by the county emergency management coordinator or their deputies in consultation with the State Director of Emergency Management.

12. This Order shall take effect at 7:00 p.m. on January 31, 2021, and shall remain in effect until such time as it is determined by me that an emergency no longer exists.

(Published December 29, 2016 in the New Jersey Register at 49 N.J.R. 225(a). Published January 31, 2021 in the New Jersey Register at 53 N.J.R. 287(a).)

The following state regulations pages link to this page.