Strong winter storm sweeps US east coast, with deep snow and strong winds

People from New York City to Maine woke up Saturday to half a foot (15 centimeters) of snow, and forecasters warned that could more than quadruple as a powerful northeasterly caused blinding blizzards with high winds and the potential for widespread power outages and coastal flooding. .

Parts of 10 states and some major population centers — Philadelphia, New York and Boston — were in the storm’s path, which was expected to rage all day.

Airlines have canceled more than 4,500 flights at some of the country’s busiest airports, according to FlightAware. Amtrak suspended or limited service on the Boston-to-Washington corridor.

In West Hartford, Connecticut, a trailer jack struck snowy Interstate 84, closing several westbound lanes.

Officials from Virginia to Maine warned people to stay off the road amid potential whiteout conditions. The storm’s saving grace: It struck on a weekend, with schools closed and few commuters.

Rhode Island, which was all under a blizzard warning, banned all non-emergency road trips from 8 a.m.

“This is serious. We are ready for this storm, and we also need Rhode Islanders to be ready,” Governor Dan McKee said. “The best way to deal with this storm is to stay home tomorrow.”

Delaware allowed only essential personnel to drive in two of the three counties. Massachusetts, where forecasters said some insulated pockets could get as much as 30 inches (76 centimeters) of snow, banned heavy trucks from highways for most of Saturday.

People protect themselves from wind and snow during whiteout conditions as Winter Storm Kenan hits Boston, Massachusetts, on January 29, 2022.

Scott Eisen | Getty Images

Shoppers crammed into stores Friday to stock up on food, generators and snow blowers for the nor’easter, a type of storm so named because the winds usually blow from the northeast as it churns along the east coast.

Many hardened New Englanders have weathered the storm with great strides.

Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray jokingly invited the public to his suburban Boston home on Saturday for a free snow shovel clinic.

“I will provide the ramp and multiple walkways to ensure your training is delivered in the most real-life situation,” he said.

Marc Rudkowski, 28, bought baguettes and wine at the Star Market in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Friday, along with balloons and toys for his dog, who turned 1 Friday.

“He will love it,” Rudkowski said. “He’s a snow dog.”

But there were some concerns about hoarding amid ongoing supply chain problems due to the pandemic. New England grocery giant Stop & Shop begged customers to exercise restraint.

“We ask customers to buy what they need and keep some for their neighbors,” the chain said in a statement.

Parts of 10 states received snow warnings: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Areas closest to the coast were expected to bear the brunt of the storm, which could cause gusts of up to 70 mph (113 kph) in New England.

Coastal New Jersey was predicted to get as much as 18 inches (46 centimeters) of snow and eastern Long Island up to 17 inches (43 centimeters). Philadelphia, New York City and parts of the Delmarva Peninsula in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia can grow 10 inches (25 centimeters) or more.

A woman shovels her car out of the snow during a major snowstorm on January 29, 2022 in Stony Brook, New York.

Andrew Theodorakis | Getty Images

Virginia, where a snowstorm this month stranded hundreds of motorists on Interstate 95 for hours, didn’t hesitate to get resources ready. In Maryland, the governor mobilized the National Guard.

Washington and Baltimore were spared the worst of the storm.

Snow can fall as fast as 5 inches (nearly 13 centimeters) per hour in places, including Connecticut, where officials worried about having enough snowplow drivers amid shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic and other problems.

The worst of the storm was said to blow into Canada on Sunday morning, where several provinces were warned.

A saving grace, at least in parts of Massachusetts: The snow should fall lightly and flaky because it comes with cold weather that dries it out, said Judah Cohen, a winter storm expert for the commercial firm Atmospheric Environmental Research.

That means worthless snowballs — and snow that’s less able to break tree branches and tear off power lines.

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