New York: After a mild February the Monster snow storm headed towards the north east states of the united states on Monday and expected to end on Tuesday evening.
The National Weather Service (NWS) warned some 50 million people from Pennsylvania to Maine of a “rapidly intensifying nor’easter” that was unusual for so late in the winter. Some could expect to find themselves surrounded by up to 2 feet of snow by early Wednesday, the federal agency predicted.
The powerful nor’easter grounded more than 7,500 flights, knocked out power to over 100,000 customers from Virginia to Pennsylvania, closed schools in cities big and small and prompted dire warnings to stay off the roads.
The flight cancellations included more than 2,800 in the New York City area alone, where about 200 passengers were stranded at Kennedy Airport. Amtrak canceled or modified service up and down the Northeast Corridor. And the above-ground portions of the New York subway system were being shut down.
Local and state authorities warned residents to be prepared and to avoid unnecessary travel as winds in some coastal areas could hit 50 mph to 60 mph, reducing visibility to zero
Governors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia declared states of emergency.
New York City was expected to escape the worst of it after the NWS withdrew its blizzard warning for the city on Tuesday morning, replacing it with a mere “winter weather advisory.” The service sharply reduced its snowfall forecast for the city to between 4 and 8 inches
Still, city life already was disrupted with many New Yorkers already planning to stay home with hard-won groceries picked up from crowded stores the night before.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo suspended above-ground portions of the city’s subway service and said the Metro-North commuter service to the suburbs would shut down at noon. Transit officials warned that more bus and train routes might be suspended throughout the day
“Normally, with the geography of New York, we normally have it on the east side or the west side. But this is statewide,” Cuomo told MSNBC in an interview.
“We’ve been through this a number of times so we’re prepared for it. Airports are basically closed … Government is basically closed, schools are basically closed, so there’s no real reason to be on the roads and we made that clear yesterday.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said about 700 National Guard members would be deployed along with more than 2,000 snowplows to keep up with the storm.
In Illinois, state police said snowy weather caused two crashes on a Chicago expressway that involved a total of 34 cars. Seven people suffered minor injuries.