"We're telling people, if they can, find shelter elsewhere," said Edward Moroney, a Brick Township spokesman.
Parts of the coast were expected to see waves up to 12 feet and minor to moderate flooding during high tide. Toms River emergency management director Paul Daley said it is "very likely" some areas in the township may flood, including land near the Barnegat Bay. Those areas have become more prone to flooding since Sandy struck in late October.
A blizzard warning was posted for northeast New Jersey, calling for up to 14 inches of snow. Up to 10 inches was forecast for central and northern areas of the state and 2 to 5 inches for south Jersey.
The big storm was having a big impact on air travel. Newark Liberty International Airport was one of the airports in the Northeast with the most cancellations, according to airline tracking website FlightAware.
Many schools in the state dismissed students early in deference to the deteriorating road conditions.
The blizzard zone included the state's largest city, Newark, with a population of over 275,000. Booker compared the snowstorm to a late October 2011 storm that dumped heavy snow and felled trees and power lines, causing major outages.
He told residents to prepare for the storm as if they were preparing for Sandy and to help the most vulnerable.
"Today, one of the biggest things you can do is a small act of kindness," he said. "Make sure that you have communicated with the elderly, sick or shut-in. We don't want to lose anyone at all in the city of Newark to this storm, and we won't have to if we all stick together and look out for one another."
Associated Press writers Wayne Parry in Pleasantville and Angela Delli Santi in Trenton contributed to this story.
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