News / USA

    Heavy Snow, Dangerous Cold Snarl Travel in Northeastern US

    Highway crews work to clear snow from roads in Henniker, New Hampshire, Jan. 2, 2014.
    Highway crews work to clear snow from roads in Henniker, New Hampshire, Jan. 2, 2014.
    Reuters
    The first major winter storm of 2014 hit the northeastern United States on Thursday with heavy snow, dangerously low temperatures and strong winds that snarled travel just as many people were returning from holiday breaks.
     
    The wide storm system stretches from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic coast, with parts of New England including Boston bracing for as much as 14 inches (36 cm) of snow by Friday morning. Some cities along the storm's southern edge expect only minimal snowfall.
     
    Thousands of flights were delayed or canceled, with Boston's Logan International Airport warning it expected takeoffs to end at about 8:30 p.m. (0130 GMT) and officials at New York area airports setting up cots for potential stranded travelers.
     
    The snowfall was expected to intensify after sunset, with the heaviest accumulation coming overnight.
     
    “The real action is going to get cranked up this evening and during the overnight hours. We'll have heavy snow, windy conditions, reduced visibilities,” said Kim Buttrick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts.
     
    Forecast snowfall varied widely, with Washington expected to see under an inch (2 cm), Philadelphia and New York 4 to 8 inches (10-20 cm), Hartford 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm) and Boston 8 to 14 inches (20-36 cm).
     
    Officials across the region urged residents to stay off roadways and planned to close some major highways in New York State beginning at midnight ET (0500 GMT).
     
    “Tomorrow people should definitely consider staying in their homes if the storm continues as we expect,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “This is nothing to be trifled with. We have learned too well over the past few years the power of Mother Nature. We have seen the damage that has been done.”
     
    Coastal flooding was forecast along low-lying parts of New England, with the risk greatest at high tide, near midnight.
     
    The storm posed the first major challenge to the administration of New York's new mayor, Bill de Blasio. Problems from digging out from snowstorms have been political havoc for mayors in the United States' biggest city for decades.
     
    “We have to get it right. There is no question,” de Blasio told reporters. “Before I even think of politics or anything else, this is our job.”

    Flights snarled
     
    The powerful storm forced about 1,807 U.S. flights to be canceled and about 4,536 delayed, with the worst-affected airports Chicago's O'Hare International and Newark's Liberty International Airport, according to FlightAware, a website which tracks air travel.
     
    An American Airlines crew member sprays de-icing solution on a plane during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 2014.An American Airlines crew member sprays de-icing solution on a plane during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 2014.
    x
    An American Airlines crew member sprays de-icing solution on a plane during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 2014.
    An American Airlines crew member sprays de-icing solution on a plane during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 2014.
    New York's three major airports were preparing to accommodate stranded travelers whose flights were canceled.
     
    “We have a few hundred cots at each of the airports should you decide to become an overnight guest,” said Thomas Bosco, an official with the Port Authority of New York and Jersey, at New York's LaGuardia Airport. The authority also runs Newark and John F. Kennedy International Airport.
     
    One traveler worrying that his Friday flight out of Logan could be delayed or canceled was Ruben Raskin, 23, of San Jose, California, who was in the area visiting his girlfriend.
     
    “It kind of reminds me why I moved to San Jose after going to college out here,” Raskin said.
     
    Conditions in Boston were bad enough by afternoon that the “Frozen Fenway” winter carnival, featuring sledding and college ice-hockey at the baseball stadium where the Red Sox play, was canceled for Thursday and Friday.

    ‘Dangerous’ cold expected
     
    The weather service said the mass of Arctic air would drop temperatures to levels 20 to 30 degrees below normal, with record lows possible on Friday.
     
    A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella as he crosses the street during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 2014.A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella as he crosses the street during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 2014.
    x
    A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella as he crosses the street during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 2014.
    A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella as he crosses the street during a winter nor'easter snow storm in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 2014.
    “Temperatures are expected to plummet tonight and tomorrow with wind chills dropping as low as 25 degrees below zero [F/-32 C],” said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. “That is a very dangerous set of circumstances.”
     
    The low temperature in the contiguous United States on Wednesday was -47 Fahrenheit (-43 Celsius), reached in Van Buren, Maine, and tied in Babbitt and Embarrass, Minnesota, the weather service said.
     
    Patrick told non-essential state workers to head home at 3 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) as did his counterparts in neighboring Connecticut. Both encouraged private-sector employers to consider releasing their staff early.
     
    Slippery road conditions made driving a hazard in many storm-hit areas.
     
    In Cleveland, Ohio, Chris Behm spent an hour trying to reach the vocational training center for developmentally disabled people where he works before calling the commute off and urging his 19 employees to stay home.
     
    “It was terrible on all of the roads and there is more weather on its way,” Behm said. “It just wasn't worth it to open and possibly kill someone.”
     
    Officials in Boston and Providence said schools would be closed on Friday, and in other districts throughout the region, parents were bracing for the possibility their children would be home on Friday.
     
    “It's tough with these storms because I end up using days off that I don't want to take,” said Kristen Carson, who had taken the train into Manhattan from her home in suburban Montclair, New Jersey. “After the holiday, it's really kind of a pinch.”

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.