Chris Christie Declares State of Emergency Instead of Inauguration

by Jana Ritter - Published: 1/22/2014

Hailed a hero after Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s inauguration plans were ironically blown off by a major snow storm that hit the state. So brutal that celebration plans were called off and he declared a state of emergency instead.

Bridge snow

A state of emergency puts the State Director of Emergency Management into action coordinating the preparation, response and recovery efforts for the storm, with all county and municipal emergency operations and governmental agencies.

“Today’s winter storm is expected to produce heavy snow, dangerous conditions and travel hazards throughout the state,” said Christie in his statement yesterday. “I’ve authorized state officials to take all necessary action to prepare, and my Administration will continue monitoring conditions throughout the remainder of the storm. I encourage all New Jerseyans to stay off the roads if possible so that our first responders and public safety officials can safely respond to any emergency situations.”

By Tuesday evening, there had been 238 reported accidents and 354 motorists aided in New Jersey State Police patrol areas. During last night’s commute, the expressways looked more like parking lots and snow plows continue to clear the thick layers of snow across New Jersey roads and Interstates until they hit blacktop.

Exhausted truck drivers were happy to take a break after treacherous conditions doubled their driving time. “I just decided to make a trek, try to beat the storm but I guess I’m in the middle of it now,” said truck driver Chris Salem who is traveling home from Washington, D.C. to Connecticut. Rachel Atherley said that her usual three hour drive from Philadelphia to Hudson Valley, New York was looking like at least six hours instead.

Dangerous road, double travel time and all - these truck drivers say “…that for work driving in this mess was a must.”