A blizzard warning for northeast New Jersey called for as much as 14 inches of snow. Up to 10 inches were possible for most of the state, with 2 to 5 inches in south Jersey.
Parts of the coast were expected to see waves up to 12 feet and minor to moderate flooding during high tide. Brick Township and Toms River, which were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, issued voluntary evacuation orders for areas still recovering from that storm.
NJ Transit said it would suspend service on its northern routes from 8 p.m. Friday through Saturday. Bus service north of Interstate 195, including into New York, was also suspended indefinitely.
The blizzard zone included the state's largest city, Newark, with a population of more than 275,000. Mayor Cory Booker urged residents to prepare for widespread power failures.
Light freezing rain was falling on New Jersey's largest city by Friday afternoon. But Booker said not to be lulled into complacency since the heavy snow accumulation is expected to happen overnight. He said forecasters have said Newark could see more than a foot of snow by Saturday morning.
The mayor also urged residents to make contingency plans because of the likelihood of widespread power outages. He compared the coming storm to a late October 2011 storm that dumped heavy snow and felled trees and power lines, causing major outages.
Booker told residents to prepare for the storm as if they were preparing for Superstorm Sandy.
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