Massive snowstorm hits northeast US, life affected
New York: Northeastern US was hit late Monday by a massive snowstorm which affected normal life in Boston, Manhattan, New England and elsewhere in the region.
“We’re hunkered down with food, shelter and water,” said Rafi Menachem, a financial consultant who lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, near Boston, adding, “I’m worried about electricity”, according to a CNN report.
Meteorologists had warned of a “crippling” and “potentially historic” blizzard in the region from Monday.
New York looked nothing like its normal bustling self early Tuesday, where schools were closed, and city officials shut down public transit.
Snow was falling 2 to 4 inches an hour at times and was especially heavy along the coast.
Blizzard warnings were in place from New Jersey to Maine. Boston was forecast to receive 20 to 30 inches of snow — and in some cases a bit more.
Up to 58 million people could be affected by the deep freeze and the storm could have a far-reaching economic and political impact, even beyond the region directly hit, CNN said.
A state of emergency was in place in seven states across the region — Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
More than 4,300 flights have been cancelled for Tuesday, the CNN report said, citing the flight-tracking website Flightaware.
That’s on top of 2,800 flights cancelled Monday. Hundreds more have already been cancelled for Wednesday.
The hardest hit airports were in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Boston’s Logan Airport would not reopen until Wednesday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday: “It is frightening how quickly a simple trip to the supermarket can wind up being very dangerous.”
Connecticut and Massachusetts also put travel bans in place. Violating the ban can set one back by $500 in Massachusetts.
In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter declared a snow emergency. Cars left parked on snow emergency routes would be towed and owners ticketed, he said.
“It’s going to be the kind of night where the best thing anybody can do is stay inside,” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said Monday evening.
According to reports, groceries flew off store shelves.
Michelle Thompson, a professor who lives in New York, found little left at a Greenwich Village grocery store.
“These are the sort of supplies New Yorkers need,” she said gazing at the empty shelves. “Apparently, fresh bread is imperative as well as eggs. Don’t forget the dried pasta and sauce!”
According to New York Police Commissioner William Bratton, his force was well prepared with a fleet of vehicles to handle the crisis.
“I want everyone to understand that we are facing – most likely – one of the largest snowstorms in the history of this city,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
To put the mayor’s statement in perspective, in 2006, 26.9 inches of snow fell on the city.