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State of emergency declared for parts of NJ during major snowstorm

NEW JERSEY — A state of emergency was declared Thursday for parts of New Jersey's coastal counties during a major storm threatening to dump a foot of snow in the area.

Gov. Chris Christie tweeted a state of emergency was declared for Cape May, Atlantic, Ocean and Monmouth counties.

State offices will be closed Thursday for all "non-essential employees," according to the governor. Essential employees must report to work as usual.

Total accumulations, at last check, were expected to be 8 to 12 inches in the counties.

Snow battered the coast as early as 4 a.m., and is expected to continue to move across the tri-state until the evening commute.

Once the snowstorm ends, arctic air arrives, bringing with it potentially historic lows.

Hundreds of schools in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut were closed ahead of the storm. Click here for a complete list of school closures.