News / USA

    Major Snowstorm Pounds US East Coast

    The illuminated dome of the US Capitol could be seen through the wind-blown snow in Northeast Washington (P. Datcher/VOA)
    The illuminated dome of the US Capitol could be seen through the wind-blown snow in Northeast Washington (P. Datcher/VOA)
    VOA News

    A monster winter storm has blanketed much of the U.S. east coast with a heavy layer of snow, shuttering residents in their homes, stranding motorists, and creating what forecasters say could be “life-threatening blizzard conditions.”
    More than 30 centimeters of snow have already fallen on many parts of the region, including Washington DC. Forecasters say it will get much worse, with snowfall totals possibly doubling and combining with heavy winds that will create near whiteout conditions.
    “The combination of heavy snow, strong winds, and potential life threatening conditions are expected through Saturday night,” said the National Weather Service in a blizzard warning.

    The Howard Theatre in Washington, Jan. 23, 2016. (P. Datcher/VOA)
    The Howard Theatre in Washington, Jan. 23, 2016. (P. Datcher/VOA)

    At least nine people have already died nationwide as a result of the slow-moving storm, which has brought snowy and often treacherous conditions all the way from Georgia to New England.

    Emergency status

    States of emergency have been declared in at least 10 states.
    In Kentucky, authorities have opened emergency shelters along a major interstate highway, where motorists have been stranded for at least 10 hours.
    Washington DC, which was in the bullseye of the storm, had already received around 25 centimeters of snow, with accumulation expected to continue into Sunday.

    WATCH: Snow quickly piles up in Washington 

    Timelapse: Massive Mid-Atlantic Blizzard Sets In Around National Malli
    VOA News
    January 22, 2016 11:49 PM
    Watch as massive winter storm expected to bury Washington in more than 23 inches of snow descends on nation's capital

    By the time it passes through, the snowstorm could be one of the city’s top 10 worst in recorded history, according to forecasters.

    Ahead of the storm, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency and closed local schools Friday.

    "This has life-and-death implications, and all the residents of the District of Columbia should treat it that way," said Bowser.

    Federal government offices in the city shut down. Authorities even took the rare step of closing the entire DC Metro public transit system.

    Nationwide, at least 6,300 flights were canceled Friday and thousands more were delayed. Widespread power outages were also expected.

    In New York City, forecasters worsened their prediction for snowfall as the storm approached. They now believe the city could also get as much as 45 centimeters of snow.

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said authorities were dealing with the storm Saturday and cautioned people to remain home unless it is an emergency.

    • Snow plows and traffic make their way north along Interstate 95 as snow begins to fall in Ashland, Virginia, Jan. 22, 2016. Portions of Virginia are under a blizzard warning.
    • A pedestrian walks his dog in the median of Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, Jan. 22, 2016.
    • Donna Przychodzki, of Secaucus, N.J., leaves Meadowlands Hardware with two snow shovels purchased in preparation for the weekend's storm, Jan. 22, 2016, in Rutherford, New Jersey.
    • NASA and NOAA satellites are tracking the large winter storm that is expected to bring heavy snowfall to the U.S. mid-Atlantic region on Jan. 22-23. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite snapped this image of the approaching blizzard around 2:35 a.m. EST, Jan. 22, 2016.
    • Snow begins to stick on the cap and jacket of a U.S. Capitol Police, in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D. C., Jan. 22, 2016.
    • Cancelled flights are displayed on a status board at New York's Laguardia Airport ahead of a powerful approaching winter storm, Jan. 22, 2016.
    • A man walks through heavy snow in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Jan. 22, 2016. Much of downtown was deserted as state and city government offices were closed for the day.
    • Duke Energy employees work to restore power in a neighborhood in Matthews, North Carolina, Jan. 22, 2016.
    • Pennsylvania Avenue looking toward the U.S. Capitol in Washington is virtually empty early in the morning, Jan. 22, 2016 as the Nation's capital hunkered down in preparation for a major snow storm expected to begin later in the day.
    • A convenience store in Raleigh, North Carolina, advertises the "essentials" as a winter storm threatens to dump the first big snow of the season, Jan. 21, 2016.
    • Vincent Ayd, left, owner of Ayd Hardware in Towson, Maryland, and truck driver Mike Jock, of Newark, Deleware, unload snow shovels and ice-melt in Towson, Jan. 21, 2016.
    • Employee Michael Torney (R) watches a customer carry out a bag of ice melt at Strosniders Hardware store in Silver Spring, Maryland, Jan. 21, 2016.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora