TRENTON, N.J. - The forecast for significant snow has prompted New Jersey's acting governor to declare a state of emergency.
Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, who is acting as governor while Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno travel out of state this week, released the following statement:
"The first action I took as Acting Governor was to receive a complete briefing on the state's storm preparations from the State Police, the Commissioner of Transportation and the Governor's Chief of Staff. We have been monitoring the situation throughout the afternoon. Based on current conditions and the forecast I am declaring a state of emergency throughout New Jersey.
"It is vital that police and public works crews are able to do their jobs. I urge all residents to take this declaration and this storm seriously, and to stay safe, stay home and stay off the roads. We will continue to monitor this storm with the help of our State Police and transportation officials."
Sweeney is due to serve as acting governor until the evening of December 30.
In southern New Jersey's Philadelphia suburbs Sunday, supermarkets were crowded early in the day and there was a run on snow shovels. Stores were quiet by late afternoon, though there was a line at the Red Box video kiosk outside a Walgreen's store in Cherry Hill.
The weather deterred some people from hitting day-after-Christmas sales, but that appeared to be a relatively light blow for retailers coming off a strong shopping season.
"People will just wait a day to do exchanges and use their gift cards. It's no big deal," said Greg Maloney, CEO of the retail practice of Jones Lang LaSalle, which manages malls across the country.
There were more snow plows than shoppers at Jackson Premium Outlets in Jackson, N.J., but the weather didn't keep Shoba Dorai from making the trip from Edison with a girlfriend and her friend's two toddlers. Several stores closed by 3:00 Sunday afternoon.
"It was not that bad when we left this morning around 10:30," Dorai said. "I guess it was not a great idea, though."
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