U.S. East Coast blanketed in snow By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk in the snow in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2022. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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By Caitlin Ochs

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The northeastern United States was walloped by a fierce winter storm on Saturday that threatened to drop more than two feet (60 cm) of snow while packing high winds, prompting governors in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and other states to declare states of emergency.

The Nor’easter, which moved up the East Coast after forming in the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolinas, blanketed a large swath of New England with heavy snowfall, with some coastal areas of New Jersey already recording 15 inches (38 cm) of accumulation.

“The combination of heavy snow rates and strong winds will produce dangerous blizzard conditions across portions of the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts,” the National Weather Service said in a notice on Saturday.

The governors who declared states of emergency warned of likely power outages. The storm has led airlines to cancel https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/airlines-cancel-flights-ahead-noreaster-storm-2022-01-28 nearly 6,000 flights through the weekend.

“This storm is looking like it could be one for the record books,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said in a CBS TV interview on Saturday. “We are not only expecting a whole lot of snow, but it is going to come down really quick in the most intense hours.”

Wu said Boston, forecast to possibly get more than 2 feet of snow, had more than 900 plows and salt spreaders out clearing the roads on Saturday morning.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the Boston metropolitan area and its nearly 4.9 million residents, predicting “whiteout conditions” and damaging winds.

Forecasters said more than two feet of snow could fall in some areas with wind gusts of 70 miles (113 km) per hour. Southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the island of Martha’s Vineyard, were expected to get the highest snow totals.

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for coastal areas and Amtrak canceled passenger rail service across much of the region.

The storm hit nearly 44 years to the day after a monstrous blizzard crippled New England in 1978. Dumping more than 27 inches (70 cm) of snow on Boston, that storm killed dozens of people, trapped others in their homes and shut down major highways for a week.

On New York’s Long Island, the weather may have contributed to the death of an elderly woman who was found early on Saturday morning in her car in a hotel parking lot, according to a spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department.

The woman appears to have suffered from a medical episode but the cold air coming into the car may have also been a factor in her death, the spokesman said.

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