MA, CT and RI Declare States of Emergency as Winter Storm Nemo Begins Dumping up to THREE FEET of Snow on East Coast

Please Share Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page

Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island  have declared states of emergency as Winter Storm Nemo begins dumping a massive  three feet of snow across the North East Coast.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick banned all  vehicles on the road from 4 p.m., and  readied 6,000 National Guardsmen as it was revealed 40 million people across the  northeast are in Nemo’s path.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told  residents to keep out of the streets and warned ‘we’ve got to prepare  for the  worst case’ as he spoke at a press conference from City Hall.

‘Stay off the city streets,  stay out of cars  and stay in your homes,’ he said, adding that tonight people should ‘cook a  meal, stay at home, read a good book, take it easy’.

Thousands of residents have scrambled to  stock up on food and water while road crews prepared salt and sand ahead of the  storm which has already left northeastern states blanketed with snow.

Schools across the region have closed,  already more than 4,000 flights have been cancelled and residents are being warned not to leave their homes. Lines were seen snaking from gas  stations this morning, and supermarket shelves were bare.

With memories of Hurricane Sandy still raw,  homes now face a storm meteorologists  have described as a potential ‘monster’ which could be the biggest blizzard some  cities have seen in a century.

As well as heavy snow accumulation  from New  York to Boston and beyond, hurricane-force winds are expected  in coastal areas – battering the same regions worst affected by Sandy in October.

‘This storm has the potential to be one  of  those events that you remember for a lifetime,’ said meteorologist  Terry  Eliasen, executive weather producer of CBS Boston station WBZ-TV.

On Friday, early-morning snow was  replaced  by rain before midday in New York City – but it is expected to  return at around  4 p.m. Rain also washed over Philadelphia.

But snow was falling further north in cities  including Boston, Newark in New Jersey and Providence in Rhode Island.Half a foot of snow has already been dumped on  Portland, Maine.

On Thursday, the National Weather Service  issued a blizzard warning for New England and the Tri-State area  beginning at 6  a.m. today until 1 p.m. on Saturday for the storm.

Boston could see more than two feet of snow,  while New York City was expecting 10 to 12 inches. To the south, Philadelphia is  looking at a possible 4 to 6 inches.

Before the first snowflake had  fallen,  Boston, Providence, R.I., Hartford, Conn., and other New England cities canceled  school Friday. In southeast Michigan  alone, nearly 700 schools were closed.

Amtrak said its Northeast trains will  stop  running Friday afternoon, while Peter Pan and Greyhound buses have  cancelled  routes between New York and Boston.

Ahead of midday in Boston, commuters  began  crowding the main transit hubs in the rush to get home before the  storm began  dumping snow and stopping trains.

Carriers announcing schedule changes  to  flights included Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings  Inc. and  JetBlue Airways Corp. The airports most affected by flight  cancellations are Newark Liberty, New  York’s LaGuardia and JFK and Boston’s Logan International.

All flights in and out of Boston’s Logan  International Airport are cancelled this afternoon. Another 1,800 flights in the  New York City area are also cancelled, affecting schedule, flight crews and  passengers throughout the country.
Philadelphia International Airport is  reporting delays on inbound flights an average of 1.5 hours due to low clouds.

Shelves at many stores across the coast were  picked clean of food and storm-related supplies such as shovels and snowblowers  as  areas residents scrambled to prepare. Drivers also lined up at gas stations  to fill their tanks.

Adding to the panic, banks have warned  residents to make sure they stock up on cash, urging a run on ATMs.

‘Winter Storm #Nemo may bring 2 feet of #snow  to New England late Fri & Sat. Prepare now – make sure you have plenty of  cash on hand,’ Bank of America tweeted on Thursday night and again on Friday  morning.

In Massachusetts, the state’s court system  will close at noon, but judges will still be on call to handle emergencies, such  as requests for restraining orders.

The public transport system, the MBTA, will  also close at 3.30 p.m. and will not re-open until Monday, officials have  said.

Across the northeastern states, officials  warned people to stay in their homes and avoid the roads.

‘This one doesn’t come along every day. This  is going to be a dangerous winter storm,’ said Alan Dunham, meteorologist for  the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts. ‘Wherever you need to  get to, get there by Friday afternoon and don’t plan on leaving.’

The organizers of New York’s Fashion  Week –  a closely watched series of fashion shows held under a big tent – said they will  have extra crews to help with snow removal and will turn up the heat and add an  extra layer to the venue.

Please Share Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page