Eastern US hit by winter storm, causing school closures, power outages and flight cancellations

The Lower Manhattan skyline is reflected in a puddle in Dumbo, Brooklyn, New York, the United States, on January 7, 2022. (Michael Nagle/Xinhua/IANS)

Eastern US hit by winter storm, causing school closures, power outages and flight cancellations

New York, January 8, 2022

A winter storm stretching from the US states of Maine to Virginia has blanketed large parts of the East Coast, causing school closures, power outages and flight cancellations, and particularly leading the governors of New Jersey and Virginia to declare a state of emergency.

Citing a snowstorm earlier this week in Virginia which played a role in the more than 24-hour traffic jam on Interstate-95, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on Friday said that "these back-to-back storms will generate landmark winter weather that requires extra flexibility -- particularly as many continue to deal with power outages."

Parts of New York City saw more than eight inches of snowfall, while more than 10 inches fell in parts of neighboring Connecticut by Friday morning, reports said, citing the National Weather Service (NWS).

Boston Public Schools in Massachusetts were closed as eight to 10 inches of snow were expected to fall in the city.

Federal offices in Washington, D.C., closed on Friday because of the weather. About 60,000 customers were experiencing power outages in Virginia Friday morning, according to outage tracker PowerOutage.US. More than 2,400 US flights were canceled as of midday Friday, according to the flight tracker FlightAware.com.

The fast-moving winter storm that pummeled parts of Kentucky and Virginia is expected to cause widespread disruption across the Northeast on Friday and Saturday, dumping between 4 and 12 inches of snow on the region's major cities.

"More than 60 million people are under winter weather alerts, and local officials have taken pre-emptive measures to prepare the densely-populated region, including shutting government offices and ordering school closures," a prominent US based media outlet reported.

Other parts of the US also experienced inclement weather Thursday and Friday. A snowstorm in the South that began Thursday led to pileups and jams on highways. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear activated the National Guard on Thursday.

Washington state had record snow and rainfall, with some towns seeing more than five inches of rain and others getting nearly two feet of snow, leading to flooding, landslides and the threat of avalanches, said NWS.

New York City and its surrounding areas have recorded substantial snowfall leading to the cancellation of hundreds of flights in and out of the area.

LaGuardia Airport posted 8.4 inches of snowfall on Friday with 5.5 inches of snowfall at John F. Kennedy International Airport and 5 inches of snowfall at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to an update by the National Weather Service (NWS).

Meanwhile, the Central Park in New York City received 5.5 inches of snow, media reports quoted the NWS as saying.

Over 300 flights into and out of LaGuardia Airport were cancelled on Friday, according to FlightAware.com.

The cancelled flights in and out of John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport totaled 468, according to FlightAware.com.

The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rapid transit railroad system linking New York City and New Jersey suffered systematic suspension due to a smoke condition in the morning.

Public schools in New York City remained open despite the winter storm.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul has urged residents to use caution and avoid unnecessary travel in several parts of the state as two weather systems are expected to produce snow and gusting winds in multiple regions.

IANS

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