SOMERVILLE, NJ - Winter storm Stella has arrived, with 6-8 inches of snow on the ground by 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Borough road crews were out early plowing the streets, hoping to keep ahead of the onslaught, which is expected to continue into the early evening.

State, county and local officials are warning Garden State residents to expect the worst from Winter Storm Stella, with up to 24 inches of snow possible in some areas and strong winds between 20-35 mph and higher gusts causing snow to drift; officials are also concerned the winds will knock down limbs and trees. 

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Gov. Chris Christie has declared a State of Emergency across the state; Somerset County government offices and borough government offices are shut down all day Tuesday; borough schools are closed as is Raritan Valley Community College.

Public Service Electric and Gas work crews are standing by to restore service.

The borough's Department of Public Works continue to plow, fire and first aid crews are prepared to respond to any emergency, according to Borough Councilman Jason Kraska, liason to the borough's Office of Emergency Management.

There are 30 miles of paved roadway in the borough, mostly residential, and it will take an extraordinary effort for road crews to clear those streets, according to Mayor Brian Gallagher.

"People will need to be patient," Gallagher said.

Tapinto Somerville readers are encouraged to send photos of Winter Storm Stella to rhirsch@tapinto.net