US north-east hit by snowstorm with blizzard-like conditions predicted
Monday - 01/02/2021 10:56
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut may see 18in of snow, with storm reaching Massachusetts and northern New England Monday
Instead of shuttered schools and snow days, the latest winter storm to wallop the US north-east shut down vaccination sites and snarled other pandemic-related services in many states that could see as much as a foot of snow by Monday evening.
Lara Pagano, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS), said a nor’easter developing off the mid-Atlantic coast will be a “pretty slow mover” as it brings heavy snow and strong winds through Tuesday.
“It’s going to be a prolonged event,” Pagano said. “We have snow that had made its way across much of Pennsylvania and into southern portions of New York and into Connecticut and much of New Jersey.”
As of Monday morning, some areas had 3in to 5in of snow, with 6in in parts of Pennsylvania, she said. In parts of New Jersey, 7in was reported.
In-person learning was canceled in school districts across the north-east and many Covid-19 vaccination sites were closed. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told MSNBC he hoped city-run vaccination sites could reopen on Tuesday.
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in order to deploy resources. He also closed all state government offices for nonessential personnel and the state’s six mega sites that distribute Covid-19 vaccines.
Hundreds of flights were canceled at the region’s major airports. Transportation officials said on Twitter that 81% of flights were canceled at New York’s LaGuardia airport and 75% at Newark Liberty airport.
Amtrak canceled all Acela service between Boston and Washington and Pennsylvanian service between New York and Pittsburgh. All New Jersey Transit trains and buses were suspended, except for the Atlantic City Rail Line.
Other regional railroads including Pennsylvania’s Northeast Regional, Keystone Service and Empire Service were operating on limited or modified schedules. New York Waterway ferries were suspended.
In recent days, a storm system blanketed parts of the Midwest, with some areas getting the most snow in several years. Ohio, Washington DC and parts of Virginia also saw snow.
Snow and cold in Washington led Joe Biden to postpone a visit to the state department that had been planned for Monday. A White House official said the visit would be rescheduled for later in the week when the agency’s staff and diplomats could more safely commute to attend.