The East Coast is battling ‘life-threatening blizzard conditions’ today as one of the most powerful winter storms in living memory continues to dump feet of snow across states from northern Georgia to New Jersey.
The National Weather Service warned that the worst is still to come for many areas as one in seven Americans could get at least half a foot of snow by Sunday, and Washington could see snowdrifts more than four feet high.
In New York governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and has warned citizens to stay off the streets all day today as winter storm Jonas batters the city with wind gusts of up to 60mph with snow falling at a rate of two inches per hour.
Speaking to CNN this morning, New Jersey governor Chris Christie said: ‘We are ready to get the National Guard out for evacuations if necessary and we have shelters in every county in the state.
‘People should stay inside, not only is the weather incredibly nasty but it is helping us keep roads passable. We have two to three inches falling an hour. Please stay inside, please don’t drive today.’
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Astronaut Scott Kelly captured this amazing image from the International Space Station of the snow storm as it approached Chicago
Up to 24 inches of snow is expected today in New York where it is currently falling at the rate of two inches per hour as wind gusts of 60mph battered the city early this morning
New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced a state of emergency across the city this morning while mayor Bill de Blasio warned people to stay off the roads entirely (a pedestrian walks in the snow on Broadway early this morning)
Cuomo told CNN this morning that all services – including buses and trains – are currently running, but warned motorists against all but essential travel as roads could become unpassable later
The Chrysler building in New York is pictured through the snow storm early this morning in near white-out conditions as snow fell at a rate of up to two inches per hour with winds of 60mph
A vehicle drives on a snow-covered road during the snowstorm this morning in Jersey City, New Jersey
Commuters wait at a bus station while it snows in New York today where up to 24 inches is expected today as winter storm Jonas rolls in
A vehicle crosses a snow-covered road near the Holland Tunnel in New Jersey this morning where heavy snowfall is expected today
Snow started falling late Friday night in New York as a street in Brooklyn appears covered in snow
People walk through the snow on the sidewalks of West 81st street in New York City as winter storm Jonas rolls up the East Coast
The winter storm is dumping plenty of snow throughout New York as the Brooklyn Bridge park is pictured almost fully covered with snow
Up to four feet of snow was predicted across Washington DC during the storm which could become the worst on record for the city
A Soldier with the Washington, D.C. National Guard assists a motorist who has become stuck in the snow in Washington, D.C. today
A Soldier with the Washington, D.C. National Guard assists a motorist who has become stuck in the snow in Washington, D.C.
Pedestrians pause to take pictures during the evening near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, in the middle of a snowstorm in Washington, D.C. Friday night
Andres Palestina of Baltimore, Maryland walks at the inner harbor on his way home from work on Friday, January 22, 2016
Jaclyn Grigoli of Federal Hill, Maryland, heads to a restaurant on Pratt Street in Baltimore on Friday, January 22, 2016
Snow plows drive on a road during a blizzard in Alexandria, Virginia late Friday night. The winter storm is expected to dump more than two feet of snow in Washington, D.C.
Snow plows attempt to clear Constitution Avenue near the National Gallery of Art as the first snow from a major blizzard hits Washington, D.C. January 22, 2016
Ghost town: A pedestrian walks across a deserted E Street downtown as the first snow from the blizzard moved in on the capital
Workers clear snow from the East Front of the Capitol during the blizzard: Crews have been working round the clock to help clear the snow
In Kentucky drivers have been stuck in a 35-mile traffic jam for up to 12 hours along Interstate 75 after several cars became stuck, with the National Guard delivering food, water and fuel to motorists and removing cars one by one.
According to the National Weather Service’s website early Saturday, 18 inches of snow already had fallen on Ulysses in eastern Kentucky, while 16 inches fell in Beattyville.
Between 14 inches to 15.5 inches had fallen in at other locations across Kentucky, including Frenchburg, Mount Vernon, Eglon and Lancer.
The Weather service said 7 inches of snow had fallen in Washington, D.C. while snowfall amounts in nearby Maryland ranged between 4.5 inches in Baltimore and 13.5 inches in Oakland. In Virginia, Reagan National Airport reported 6.8 inches of snow and Elma had 15 inches.
Other states that recorded snowfall amounts greater than 6 inches included Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Various locations in Georgia and Alabama received between 1 and 3.5 inches of snow.
Much heavier snow and wind gusting to 60 mph should create blinding whiteout conditions once the storm joins up with a low pressure system off the coast, said Bruce Sullivan, a forecaster at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
Two feet or more of snowfall is forecast for Washington and Baltimore, and nearly as much for Philadelphia.
Clearing the Capitol steps: Workers brave the treacherous conditions as they clear snow from the East Front of the Capitol building
Workers clear a sidewalk in Washington, D.C. as snow continues to fall Friday, January 22, 2016
People buy seafood at the Wharf as the snow falls in Washington, D.C., Friday, January 22, 2016. The leading edge of the monster snowstorm arrived early in the afternoon
A snowplow begins to clear the sidewalk at Lafayette Park in front of the White House in Washington, Friday, January 22, 2016
Snow falls on the sculptures at the Korean War Veterans Memorial after sunset in Washington, D.C. on Friday
Hunkering down: A group of nuns visting Washington from their convent in Chicago look more like the sculptures at the Korean War Memorial as they walk in the early snow
A woman walks by the United States Marine Corps Monument in Washington D.C. on Friday as snow falls during the winter storm
A police car is covered with ice in front of the White House in Washington D.C. during the winter storm Jonas on Friday
Presidential dog Sunny is walked by a handler outside the White House in Washington, Friday, January 22, 2016
Wrapped up warm: A member of the secret service stands guard in front of the White House as he prepares for what’s about to come in
When there’s no work, play: People sled down a small hill by the Capitol as Washington bore the brunt of the blizzard
According to The Weather Channel, as much as 18 inches of snow in has fallen in western North Carolina and up to 16 inches in eastern Kentucky as of late Friday afternoon. Up to a foot of snow has fallen in southwest Virginia, and a half foot has blanketed parts of Tennessee, upstate South Carolina, northeast Georgia, western Virginia, West Virginia and Arkansas
A group of nuns visiting Washington, DC from their convent in Chicago walk in the early snow outside the U.S. Capitol on January 22, 2016
Snow slows down traffic on Interstate 40, Friday morning in Nashville, Tennessee. Ten deaths have already been connected to icy road conditions in Jonas’ path
A Virginia State police officer and a tow truck operator work an accident along interstate 95 near Richmond, Virginia, Friday
Rescue personnel work at the scene of a five vehicle accident along Interstate 81 in Wythe County, Virginia Friday, January 22, 2016
An overturned vehicle lies unattended in the median along Monacan Trail Road south of Charlottesville, Virginia, as snow falls on Friday
An overturned vehicle rests on the shoulder of a snow-covered road near Gainesboro, Virginia on Friday, January 22, 2016
New York City’s expected total was upped Friday to 18 to 24 inches. But Sullivan said ‘the winds are going to be the real problem; that’s when we’ll see possible power outages.’
Snow was forecast to start falling in New York at around 4am today, but the first flakes actually fell at around 10pm yesterday, with a steady snowfall across Manhattan by 11pm.
The result could create snowdrifts four to five feet high, so even measuring it for records could be difficult, he said.
By evening, wet, heavy snow was falling in the capital, making downed power lines more likely, and yet many people remained on the roads, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said. ‘Find a safe place and stay there,’ she beseeched.
Anyone trying to travel in this mess risks getting stuck for hours, marooned in odd places, or killed, authorities warned.
At least 10 people died in storm-related crashes before the worst of the storm, including Stacy Sherrill, whose car plummeted off an icy road in Tennessee. Her husband survived after climbing for hours up a 300-foot embankment.
‘They’re slipping and sliding all over the place,’ said Kentucky State Police Trooper Lloyd Cochran — as soon as one wreck was cleared, other cars slammed into each other, causing gridlock for hours on interstate highways.
AT LEAST NINE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN STORM-RELATED AUTO ACCIDENTS
At least nine people have been killed in accidents as a snowstorm pounds the eastern part of the U.S. Some details of the deaths:
- A man died in southeastern Kentucky when his car collided with a salt truck Thursday, state police said. Billy R. Stevens, 59, of Williamsburg was pronounced dead at the scene on state Route 92 in Whitley County. Two passengers were being treated at a hospital.
- Gov. Pat McCrory said one person injured in an accident in Wilkes County on Wednesday evening has died, and another motorist was killed Friday in a crash on Interstate 95 in Johnston County.
- A 60-year-old woman driving her car in Stokes County near her home about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday hit an “extremely icy” patch, went down an embankment and turned over in a creek, the state Highway Patrol said. Mary Williams was killed in the accident.
- In neighboring Forsyth County, 55-year-old Rosa McCollough-Leake was killed when she slid on an icy roadway, crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a pickup truck head-on. Three people had minor injuries.
- A 4-year-old boy died Friday afternoon after the pickup truck carrying his family on Interstate 77 near Troutman spun out of control and crashed, said State Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Baker. The Ford pickup carrying two adults and their three children all under 8 years old slammed into a tow truck working to haul out a vehicle that had run off the highway earlier, Baker said. Troopers say the boy was restrained in a child seat and died as a result of the impact.
- A car slid off the roadway due to speed and slick conditions, killing the driver and injuring a passenger, the Knox County sheriff’s department said.
- A couple was in a vehicle that slid off an icy road and plummeted down a 300-foot embankment Wednesday night, killing the woman who was driving, said Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford. Stacy Sherrill’s husband, a passenger in the car, survived the crash. It took him several hours to climb the embankment and report the accident.
- A man was killed in the City of Chesapeake, Virginia, on Friday after his car went off the snowy George Washington highway and hit a tree, said Officer Leo Kosinski.
More than 7,700 flights have been cancelled thanks to the blizzard. Above a reader-board at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Friday
A passenger takes a nap while waiting for his flight at the Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. on January 22, 2016
Liam Everett, 8, left, Chloe Betts, 10, center, and Isabella Everett, 10, of North Carolina play a card game on Januay 22, 2016 at Orlando International Airport. Both families flights were cancelled due to weather in Raleigh, North Carolina. The two families are returning from a Disney cruise
In New York City, where the storm is supposed to his Saturday morning, a Trader Joe’s grocery store was nearly sold out of bread
Form an orderly line: People queue up to get their last minute supplies before being buffered by the blizzard in New York
A man died in southeastern Kentucky when his car collided with a salt truck Thursday, state police said. Billy R. Stevens, 59, of Williamsburg was pronounced dead at the scene on state Route 92 in Whitley County. Two passengers were being treated at a hospital.
In addition, a four-year-old boy in North Carolina died Friday afternoon after the pickup truck carrying his family on Interstate 77 near Troutman spun out of control and crashed, said State Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Baker.
The Ford pickup carrying two adults and their three children all under eight years old slammed into a tow truck working to haul out a vehicle that had run off the highway earlier, Baker said. Troopers say the boy was restrained in a child seat and died as a result of the impact.
According to CNN, 132,739 customers had lost power across the Southeast, with 125,000 in the Carolinas.
Conditions quickly became treacherous all along the path of the storm. Arkansas and Tennessee got eight inches; Kentucky got more than a foot, and states across the Deep South grappled with icy, snow-covered roads and power outages. Two tornadoes arrived along with the snow in Mississippi.
WINTER STORM JONAS CAUSES AIRLINE TRAVEL CHAOS
Total delays within, into, or out of the United States today: 3,173
Total cancellations within, into, or out of the United States today: 3,097
Total delays today: 2,554
Total delays within, into, or out of the United States today: 148
Total cancellations today: 4,679
Total cancellations within, into, or out of the United States today: 4,191
Total delays Sunday: 0
Total delays within, into, or out of the United States Sunday: 0
Total cancellations Sunday: 1,084
Total cancellations within, into, or out of the United States Sunday: 1,064
The National Weather Service in Jackson confirmed at least two tornadoes tore through Lamar and Simpson counties on Thursday. No injuries were reported.
Meteorologist Brad Bryant says it’s rare for a system to bring tornadoes and snow to the state.
Both tornadoes damaged homes in the area, uprooted trees and downed power lines. The snow caused accidents on roadways and shuttered schools and businesses.
For the passengers on a cruise ship heading back to snowy Baltimore from the Bahamas, one more day at sea doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.
The Maryland Department of Transportation said Friday that the blizzard slamming the Eastern U.S. means the port won’t be ready for the Royal Caribbean International’s Grandeur of the Seas until Monday.
Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez says the ship was to return Sunday from an eight-day trip to the Bahamas. The plans changed after forecasts of more than two feet of snow for the Baltimore area.
The storm could easily cause more than $1 billion in damage, weather service director Louis Uccellini said.
All the ingredients have come together for a massive snowfall: The winds initially picked up warm water from the Gulf of Mexico, and now the storm is taking much more moisture from the warmer-than-usual Gulf Stream as it rotates slowly over mid-Atlantic states, with the District of Columbia in its bulls-eye.
At least meteorologists appear to have gotten this storm right. Predictions converged and millions of people got clear warnings, well in advance.
Blizzard warnings stretched to just north of New York City. Boston and other New England cities should get a less windy winter storm, and much less snow.
In all, 85 million Americans will get at least an inch of snow, 47 million more than six inches, and 22 million Americans more than a foot, Ryan Maue at WeatherBell Analytics said Friday.
Fortunately, temperatures will be just above freezing after the storm passes in most places, and there’s no second storm lurking behind this one, making for a slow and steady melt and less likelihood of more ice and floods, Peterson said.
As food and supplies vanished from store shelves Friday, states of emergency were declared, lawmakers went home, and schools, government offices and transit systems closed early around the region.
Thousands of flights were canceled, sporting events were called off, bands postponed concerts and NASCAR delayed its Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Broadway’s shows were still going on in New York, but as snow fell in Atlanta, people there were urged to stay home all weekend, rather than risk a repeat of the city’s 2014 ‘icepocalypse,’ when a relatively mild winter storm caused days of commuter chaos.
Travel was already impossible across a wide swath of the Ohio River valley. Nashville, Tennessee was gridlocked by accidents. Several drivers died on icy roads in North Carolina.
In Washington, Baltimore, and Delaware, archdioceses preemptively excused Catholics from showing up for Sunday Mass.
Pat Cantrell of Oak Grove, Mississippi, right, helps David Walkley move branches from his parents’ home on Friday, January 22, 2016 after a EF2 tornado swept through Rocky Branch area in Sumrall
Donald Powell of Baxterville helps move tree limbs on Friday, January 22, 2016 after a EF2 tornado swept through the Rocky Branch area of Sumrall, Mississippi
Members of the community help clean up debris from a family’s personal shop on Friday, January 22, 2016 after an EF2 tornado swept through the Rocky Branch area of Sumrall, Mississippi
The White House is seen as a police officer works to clear snow off of the rear windshield of his patrol car during a snowstorm in Washington January 22, 2016
Cheese! Tourists make the most of the snow as they pose for a group photo in front of the White House
A couple walks through Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., Friday, January 22, 2015 as snow falls during the winter storm
Adrian Lapas scoops snow at the entrance to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Friday, January 22, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee
Neighbors Steve Turner, left, and Mac McDonald talk as they take their dogs for an evening walk in the snow Friday in Nashville, Tennessee
Thomas Lillard, 9, shovels the sidewalk at his house Friday, January 22, 2016, in Bowling Green, Kentucky
A Metro subway rider takes a picture of the snow-covered Potomac River as a snow falls in Washington on January 22, 2016
Lara Gastinger cross-country skis along the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Virginia as snow falls on Friday, January 22, 2016
Sunset approaches the end of Grand Haven Pier in St Joseph, Michigan earlier this week after a winter storm effected the area
Coastal flooding and the loss of beaches from high surf were major worries from Delaware north to Long Island. New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie canceled presidential campaign events in New Hampshire, which should be spared from the storm. ‘I’m sorry, NH but I gotta go home — we got snow coming,’ Christie wrote on Twitter.
Christie held a briefing with his Cabinet on Friday night and then a news conference, in which he told people to be smart and stay off roadways on Saturday.
The governor has paused his presidential campaign to return home and take care of the emergency, as he canceled campaign events Friday and Saturday. Christie had been scheduled to remain in New Hampshire through the weekend, when the bulk of the storm was expected to dump snow on parts of New Jersey.
New Jersey’s first lady Mary Pat would stay in New Hampshire.
Most of the state is facing a blizzard warning from Friday evening until Sunday that calls for up to 24 inches of snow, with the deepest accumulations in the central part of the state.
New Jersey state climatologist David Robinson says back bay flooding and beach erosion at the shore could range from moderate to major, but he doesn’t expect storm surge levels in the northern part of the state to be as bad as they were during Superstorm Sandy.
As citizens of the nation’s capital hunkered down for a weekend-long storm set to break snowfall records set nearly 100 years ago, the streets of Washington, DC were eerily empty Friday afternoon.
In Washington yesterday, the federal government closed its offices at noon, and all mass transit was shutting down through Sunday. President Barack Obama, hunkering down at the White House, was one of many who stayed home.
The National Weather Service (NWS) says DC could get as much as 30 inches of snow by the time the storm ends Sunday, likely breaking the current record set during the January 1922 Knickerbocker blizzard, when 28 inches covered DC.
That storm was named after the tragedy that took place at Crandall’s Knickerbocker Theater, where a roof collapsed under the weight of the snow to kill 98 people and injure 133 more.
Michael Rainey got his face full of snow after tubing down the hill along Broad Street in Bristol, Tennessee on Friday, January 22, 2016
John Jones slides down 9th St. on a tube during the snowstorm on Friday, January 22, 2016, in Lynchburg, Virginia
Ben Cichy pulls a sled with his sons Adrian, 18-months-old, and Logan 3, inside as they head for sledding in the snow on Capitol Hill, Friday in Washington, D.C.
On the left, Shannon Barlett, 11, reacts after her sister, Amber Barlett, 11, dumped a load off snow on her in their front yard on Westwood Drive, Friday morning, in Beckley, West Virginia. On the right, Kevin Leftwich shovels snow off his sidewalk in the same town
Fun and games: Timmy Campbell holds a snowball in one hand and his sled in another as he struggles to make his way up a snow-covered hill while sledding at Westmont Commons Apartments in Asheville
Now where did I park? Adam Jones tries to scrap snow off his car using a spatula at Westmont Commons Apartments in Asheville
In your face! Elijah Kabuy gets a face full of snow after rolling around on a hill at Westmont Commons Apartments in Asheville
Joe Church uses a wheel-less skateboard as a sled to slide down a hill across the street from the University of North Carolina Asheville
NWS meteorologist Paul Kocin compared this weekend’s storm to ‘Snowmageddon,’ the first of two storms that ‘wiped out’ Washington in 2010 and dumped up to 30 inches of snow, but said the weekend timing and the days of warning could help limit deaths and damage.
Uccellini said all the elements have come together to create a blizzard with brutally high winds, dangerous inland flooding, white-out conditions and even the possibility of thunder snow, when lightning strikes through a snowstorm.
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina addressed anti-abortion activists at the annual March for Life as the storm closed in Friday afternoon.
‘I would come here if it were thunderstorming,’ said Kristlyn Whitlock, 20, who came from Steubenville, Ohio, wearing four layers of pants and five layers of tops to stay warm.
According to Sky News, beer, wine and liquor sales have increased dramatically as people organized #blizzard2016 parties.
Steve Levan, manager of Beer Wine & Co in the Chevy Chase area, told Sky News: ‘Business is three times what it normally is. Customers are buying whole cases of wine, multiple six-packs of beer, stocking up to spend days cooped up inside.’
In downtown Baltimore, social worker Sean Augustus stocked up on flashlights and water Friday before the brunt of the storm hit, but said his city comes together when disasters strike.
‘This is when you’ll see Baltimore city in a different light,’ Augustus said. ‘You’ll see neighbors coming together to help each other. That’s the side of Baltimore people rarely see.’
A similar spirit was evident in Annapolis, where 350 Navy midshipmen signed up to shovel people out.
More than 7,700 flights were canceled Friday and Saturday — about 13 percent of the airlines’ schedules, according to the flight tracking service FlightAware. They hope to be fully back in business by Sunday afternoon.
Thousands of track workers, power company employees, road crew members, firefighters, police, National Guardsmen and others mobilized to help out over the long weekend.
‘For our region, this is good timing,’ said Jeffrey Knueppel, general manager of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which is suspending almost all service around Philadelphia Saturday. ‘Saturday is the day to stay home and Sunday will give us a chance to really clean things up.’
A state of emergency was declared in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New York, and the District of Columbia.
Snow is already falling in Tennessee, Arkansas, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia, causing dangerous road conditions.
A Tennessee Highway Patrolman says interstates are ‘pure gridlock’ around downtown Nashville and ‘just totally shut down.’
Lt. Bill Miller says snow plows and salt trucks are out, but they can’t keep up with the winter weather.
The winter storm shut down schools and state government offices in central Arkansas on Friday, after six inches fell overnight.
Daron Anderson walks down an empty snow-covered street to check on the condition of a relative, Friday, January 22, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee
A man walks up 10th Street in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia while a tractor clears a parking deck as snow falls on Friday, January 22
Snow plows and traffic make their way south along Interstate 40 in Durham and Orange County in North Carolina on Friday
At a press conference Friday morning, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said that the ‘major storm has life and death implications, and all the residents of the District of Columbia should treat it that way’.
The mayor said that it’s time to ‘hunker down’ and ‘shelter in place’. She said the city expects two to two and a half feet of wet, heavy snow, with some residents dealing with downed trees and power lines.
Christopher Geldart, director of the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, asked residents to be where they plan to be for the storm by 3pm Friday. He said that even when the snow stops, it will affect the region for some time.
TIME TO STOCK UP
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those under winter storm warnings should be sure to have the following stocked up in their homes in case leaving the house becomes impossible.
Non-electric can opener
Baby food and formula, if necessary
Prescription drugs and other medicine
Rock-salt to melt ice on walkways
Supply of cat litter or bag of sand to add traction on walkways
Flashlight and extra batteries
Battery-powered lamps or lanterns
Warm clothes and blankets
(To prevent the risk of fire, avoid using candles.)
The capital’s subway system shut down entirely Friday night at 11pm and will remain closed through Sunday for the sake of employee and rider safety. Underground stations usually stay open during major snowstorms.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said that as of 9am Friday, ridership on the region’s rail lines was down 50 per cent. He says riders had taken 37,000 trips Friday morning compared with 74,000 last Friday.
However, taxi cabs are being encouraged to stay in service throughout the storm, thanks to a $15 dollar fee that has been added to rides in the weather.
District of Columbia Taxicab Commission spokesman Neville Waters said the ‘snow emergency fare’ went into effect at 9.30am Friday.
Waters said the $15 will be in addition to the regular metered charge. The taxi commission said the fee was added to encourage some taxis to remain in service during the storm. The fare period will remain in effect for 12 hours unless it is extended.
According to Washington municipal regulations, a snow emergency fare period can be put into place when there are hazardous driving conditions, such as significant accumulation of snow on the streets.
Uccellini said residents should expect high winds, a storm surge and inland flooding from Delaware to New York. Other severe but non-snowy weather is likely from Texas to Florida as the storm system chugs across the Gulf Coast, gaining moisture.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged city residents to stay off the roads all day Saturday as the winter storm has already claimed several lives.
His announcement on Friday called for no motorists on city streets from 8am until midnight, so that plows can freely battle the blizzard.
‘Get what you need done today,’ de Blasio said hours after a blizzard watch for the city was upgraded to a blizzard warning on Friday. ‘Any unnecessary driving should be avoided unless it’s urgent. Stay off the roads. It’s as simple as that.’
He also said the storm is the ‘real thing’ and urged residents to remain indoors.
In New York City, train service could be disrupted as well, by frozen switches, the loss of third-rail electric power or trees falling on overhead wires. About 1,000 track workers will be deployed to keep New York City’s subway system moving and 79 trains will have ‘scraper shoes’ to reduce the icing on the rails.
The city’s bike-share program, Citi Bike, also announced that the service shut down at 11pm last night.
In addition to Washington, 12 to 18 inches of snow was predicted for Philadelphia and 18 to 24 inches was expected in New York
Snow started falling in New York late Friday night and is expected to continue overnight and into Saturday. Experts say the city could see a big accumulation
An estimated 30 inches of snow is expected to fall in Washington, DC – which could break the record 28 inches set in the Knickerbocker blizzard of 1922
All major airlines have issued waivers for travel over the weekend, allowing passengers to rebook onto earlier or later flights to avoid the storms.
British visitors to the US are being advised to consider rebooking their trips. The Association of British Travel Agents says that any Britons who get stuck overnight are entitled to meals and hotels.
This weekend’s storm is set to topple the record-holder set in 1922
The airports included vary by airline but include some cities in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia all the way up the coast to New Hampshire and Massachusetts. American Airlines alone has issued waivers for 42 airports.
British Airways spokesman Philip Pitt said: ‘We will look to use larger aircraft where we can on Sunday to help as many customers as possible get to their final destination.’
Customers can rebook any time up to January 27.
According to flight tracking service FlightAware, airlines canceled more than 7,700 flights Friday to, from or within the U.S. as a major snowstorm bears down on the East Coast. More than 4,000 flights were canceled for Saturday.
The bulk of those Friday cancellations were in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina. Saturday’s cancellations center around Philadelphia, Washington and – to a lesser extent – New York. By Sunday afternoon, however, the airlines hope to be back to full schedule to handle the influx of business travelers heading out for the week, one of the busiest travel periods.
The good news for those facing flight cancellations is that Saturday is the slowest travel day of the week. According to FlightAware, there are a little more than 22,000 flights scheduled to, from or within the U.S. That’s about 5,000 fewer flights – and 400,000 fewer passengers – than on Thursday or Friday.
United Airlines said it shut down operations at Washington Dulles airport starting Friday afternoon, and that they hope to resume flights Sunday.
The airline warned that ‘the severe weather conditions will lead to many cancellations and delays through the region ‘including at its major hubs of Dulles and Newark Liberty Airport outside New York City in northern New Jersey.
Southwest and JetBlue also started cancelling flights Friday, while American Airlines canceled all of its Friday flights out of the Washington, Baltimore and Charlotte, North Carolina, airports.
Five states declared a state of emergency when blizzard warnings were issued for much of the East Coast. About 85million people are in the path of storm Jonas which will bring 50mph winds and more than two feet of snow in many areas.
There has been panic buying in supermarkets. JFK and Newark Airport in New York and Boston’s Logan airport were expected to be all but shut down from Friday to Saturday.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF A POWER OUTAGE
Officials have warned that widespread power outages are expected in Winter Storm Jonas.
In such an occasion it’s important to keep warm by wearing layers, especially a hat and gloves as heat is lost through the hands and the top of the head.
Once the power goes out, make sure to unplug all major appliances since they can cause a surge if they are all turned on once power is restored.
It’s also important to open the refrigerator or freezer as little as possible, since they can remain cold for hours after the power goes out.
If your home runs on a back-up generator, make sure that the system is disconnected from the main power grid, since it can be deadly for power company workers if it is sending electricity out of your home.
Generators should also be used outside of the home, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.