Powerful winter storm hits eastern US, grounding thousands of flights

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A powerful winter storm with heavy snow and high winds hit the US east coast on Saturday, forcing thousands of flights to be canceled as severe weather warnings were issued in a region of about 70 million people.

With blizzard warnings in effect, cities like New York and Boston took the brunt of the storm on Saturday morning, but the far-reaching system also hit the Mid-Atlantic.

Freeze warnings were issued as far south as Florida, where the National Weather Service (NWS) warned of “spread to isolated falling tree iguanas” as the falling temperatures kill the large lizards, which can weigh up to 20 pounds (nine kilograms). temporarily paralyzed.

Salt machines and snowplows crawled through the streets of New York, where as much as four inches of snow had fallen on Saturday morning.

Mayor Eric Adams tweeted Friday that 12 inches of snow was forecast, warning that “Mother Nature tends to do what she wants.”

He urged New Yorkers to stay home if possible.

According to flight tracker FlightAware, about 3,500 flights were canceled on Saturday for travel within, to or from the United States, and 701 flights have already been canceled for Sunday.

The number of unsubscribes on Friday was more than 1,450.

The NWS warned of “dangerous blizzards” along parts of the Mid-Atlantic and New England coast, with snow accumulating more than two feet predicted in the Boston area.

Snowfall would range from two to four inches per hour, and strong winds would cause “scattered power outages.”

“Expect white-out conditions and sometimes near-impossible travel,” the agency said.

New York and New Jersey governors have declared a state of emergency, while Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has declared a snow emergency.

“It’s going to get pretty ugly out there,” she said in an early morning television interview from City Hall.

“This is going to be a historic storm.”

Massachusetts residents were rushed Friday to run errands, as well as snow and ice melt pellets to keep their sidewalks and driveways clear.

Early Saturday morning, Boston Public Works said 500 snowplows were already hard at work on the city’s streets.

The storm will cause extremely cold temperatures with dangerous shivers from Saturday night to Sunday morning, the NWS said.

“Go home safe tonight, stay home all weekend, avoid unnecessary travel,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement, broadcasting Long Island, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley for particularly deep snow. .

She also urged people who had to travel to fill their cars’ gas tanks and keep supplies such as ice scrapers, blankets and water in their vehicles.

The NWS Eastern Region reported on Friday that the storm is expected to increase rapidly over the next 24 hours, a meteorological event sometimes referred to as a “bomb cyclone.”

The blizzard comes on the heels of a similar winter storm that covered a swath of eastern North America — from Georgia to Canada — just two weeks ago, cutting power to thousands of homes and also disrupting thousands of flights.



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