Tornado watch issued for parts of N.J. as Tropical Storm Isaias nears –

UPDATE ON LATEST FORECAST TIMING AND TRACK: Tropical Storm Isaias to blast N.J. with up to 75 mph wind gusts, heavy rain

Nearly all of New Jersey is under a tornado watch as as Tropical Storm Isaias pushes toward the state after being downgraded from a hurricane overnight.

Eighteen of 21 counties — all but Cape May, Cumberland and Salem — and are under the watch until 4 p.m, the National Weather Service said. A few tornadoes are likely, the weather service said.

Isolated hail as large as the size of a small marble is also possible.

New Jersey is under multiple watches and warnings as of Tuesday morning. The entire state is under a tropical storm warning with flooding and high winds topping 65 mph expected, the weather service says.

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency for the storm that took effect at 5 a.m. While there were no mandatory travel restrictions, Murphy urged residents to stay off the roads.

The state Department of Environmental Protection announced that all state parks and wildlife management areas are closed Tuesday and officials would be clearing all state campgrounds at daybreak.

Up to 6 inches of rain could fall in parts of New Jersey from the storm. There were already heavy bands of rain along the Delaware River and in northwest New Jersey just before daybreak when the winds are expected to pick up.

Hurricane Isaias made landfall just after 11 p.m. Monday at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph

NJ Advance Media staff writer Jeff Goldman contributed to this report.

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