State of Emergency Declared as Winter Storm Strikes East Coast

UPDATE (4PM): The city plans to tow all vehicles parked on major routes, and the Parking Authority has opened five of its decks (Wolfson, Wellness, Plum Street, Morris Street, and New Street), offerring free parking for city residents until the end of the emergency.

Rutgers University has also decided to cancel all classes tomorrow, Tuesday Januart 27, and plans to resume a regular schedule on Wednesday.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A blizzard warning is in effect from noon on Monday, January 26 until 6PM on Tuesday, January 27, with between 12 to 18 inches and potentially more locally predicted in what will be the region’s first major Nor’easter of the season.

The National Weather Service is predicting a major snowstorm that will affect our area beginning tomorrow night which may leave up to two feet of snow accumulation on the ground throughout the coastal mid-Atlantic region.

The snow and other precipitation will “rapidly intensify into a major Nor’easter late Monday” and has the prospect of becoming a historic snowfall event throughout the Middlesex county area. Forecasters are predicting that the storm will certainly snarl transportation plans and imperil those who do decide to take to the roads.

Both the New Brunswick school system and Rutgers University have announced an early end to classes on Monday, Janury 26.

According to their own "Level 4 Early Closure" announcement, Rutgers classes after 4PM on Monday and before 1PM on Tuesday are cancelled.

Additionally, the city announcd several other changes and cncellations on its website:

  • Garbage collection in the Tuesday pickup zone has been canceled. The next trash pickup date will be on Friday, January 30.
  • The New Brunswick Municipal Court session scheduled for 4:45 p.m Monday, January 26 and the 12:30 p.m. session scheduled for Tuesday, January 27 have been canceled. A decision regarding Tuesday night’s Municipal Court session will be made on Tuesday. New court dates will be sent out in the mail.
  • Code Blue is in effect at Elijah’s Promise for the evenings of Monday and Tuesday. Residents without shelter may come to the soup kitchen at 18 Neilson Street between 7 p.m. and . The Homeless Hotline will serve as a communication and assistance hub during Code Blue and can be reached at 2-1-1 or (877) 652-1148.
  • Recycling collection for residents and businesses in the Tuesday collection zone has been rescheduled for Saturday, January 31st. Recyclables should be placed curbside on Friday night after 5 p.m for collection on Saturday. Residents can call 1-877-4NB-SNOW after 4 p.m. for more information regarding changes to the trash pickup schedule.
  • The meeting of the New Brunswick Zoning Board scheduled for Monday night has been canceled. The next meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. February 23 at City Hall.
  • The meeting of the New Brunswick Rent Control Board scheduled for Tuesday night has been canceled. The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. February 24 at City Hall.
  • The meeting of the New Brunswick Human Relations Commission scheduled for Tuesday night has been canceled. A new meeting date will be announced at a later date.  

Governor Chris Christie also announced a state of emergency, and the early closure of state offices today.

With an expected impact that will lead to “extremely dangerous travel conditions due to heavy snowfall and strong winds,” the “whiteout conditions” that such a storm has the potential to bring to our area may be reminiscent of past meteorological events that have made local transportation lifelines like Route 18 impassible.

According to the National Weather Service, a blizzard warning “means severe winter weather conditions are expected, with falling and blowing snow, strong winds, and poor visibility likely.”

If the city declares a snow emergency of their own, cars will need to be removed from the city's main roads or be taken by tow trucks.  The New Brunswick Parking Authority typically opens several of their garages to city residents in these situations.

The National Weather Service advises that if travel is absolutely necessary, to have a fully charged cell phone and winter survival kit available for use should conditions lead to becoming stranded. 

Editor at New Brunswick Today | (732) 993-9697 | editor@newbrunswicktoday.com | Website

Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.