Major Snow Storm Slams the Northeast, USA, Crippling Air Travel and Closing the Subway
A powerful winter storm pummeled much of the Northeastern United States on Monday, canceling flights, causing outdoor subway closures and disrupting travel for millions of people along the I-95 corridor.
In New York City, a forecast of up to two feet of snow by Tuesday could make the snowstorm one of the biggest in the city’s history. More than 13 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park by 1 p.m., including eight inches in the previous six hours, the National Weather Service said on Twitter.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that heavy snow would give way to icy, dangerous conditions on Tuesday and that in-person learning at city schools would be canceled until Wednesday. The storm was also hampering the city’s ability to deal with pandemic and the city postponed coronavirus vaccination appointments scheduled for Monday and Tuesday to later in the week.
“At the most intense points, you’re going to see two to four inches of snow per hour,” Mr. de Blasio said. “That’s extremely intense snow. That’s blinding snow. You do not want to be out if there’s any way to avoid it.”
On Sunday, Mr. de Blasio issued a local emergency declaration, barring most travel in the city starting at 6 a.m. on Monday except in cases of emergencies. Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey declared a state of emergency beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday and said most of New Jersey Transit’s bus and rail operations would be temporarily suspended on Monday because of the storm.
As of 10:45 a.m. on Monday, a band of heavy snow was developing over parts of Pennsylvania and into the early afternoon with a mix of sleet and freezing rain that was expected to change back to snow soon, according to the National Weather Service, with accumulations of 12 to 24 inches forecast for the northeastern part of the state, as well as northern portions of New Jersey. Wind gusts could reach up to 35 m.p.h. Areas in central New Jersey could see snow totals around 15 inches, the service said, making travel extremely difficult.
In Philadelphia, about two inches of snow had fallen in the early hours of Monday, with about five inches in the suburbs. Conditions across the area were expected to dramatically worsen as the day progressed, local meteorologists said, an by day’s end Philadelphia may have eight to 12 inches of snow. Areas around the city were expected to get over a foot and more than 18 inches of snow was possible in the Lehigh Valley and Poconos. A combination of heavy snow and strong winds up to 60 m.p.h. in some areas could create power outages.
In New England, blizzard-like conditions were forecast on Monday, meteorologists said. At noon, a wall of snow moved over the coastal areas of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut with snow falling at a rate of one two inches an hour. A foot was expected by the evening. Wind gusts up to 70 m.p.h. and moderate coastal flooding could occur.
By Monday evening, the snow will shift into Northern New England, according to the National Weather Service. Areas of rain and freezing rain could occur along the I-95 corridor from Washington to Philadelphia.
On Sunday, as much as three inches of snow fell across the Washington area, and forecasters predicted another inch or so on Monday.
Outdoor subway service in New York City was suspended starting at 2 p.m. on Monday because of the snowstorm, officials said.
There were no immediate plans to pause underground service, but that could change, said Sarah E. Feinberg, the interim president of New York City Transit, which runs the city’s subway and buses.
“This is a dangerous, life-threatening situation,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at a news conference on Monday. “And expect major closures, so you’re not surprised. And we don’t want anyone to be stranded in a location where they can’t get home again.”
The shut down affected lines across the city and closed 204 of the system’s 472 stations, mostly n Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, according to a map shared by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Passengers were required to disembark at the last underground station before the train goes above ground.
Southbound service on the F line ended in Brooklyn at the Jay Street-MetroTech station, for example. In Queens, the 7 line ended northbound service at Hunters Point Avenue. In the Bronx, northbound service on the 6 line ended at Hunts Point Avenue.
Patrick J. Foye, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the subway, buses and two commuter lines, said the Long Island Railroad would stop running between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., while the last Metro-North Railroad trains would leave Grand Central Terminal around 3 p.m.
PATH trains, which link Manhattan with New Jersey, would also stop running at 3 p.m., according to Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Courtesy of nytimes.com