Health Care

Snowstorm clobbers US Northeast after weeks of mild weather

Snowstorm clobbers US Northeast after weeks of mild weather

A powerful snowstorm is pounding the mid-Atlantic and the U.S. Northeast early today and has prompted flight cancellations, school closures, and warnings from city and state officials to stay off the roads.

Bank teller Jana White said her plans for riding out the storm included "lots of hot chocolate and a couple of sappy movies".

"It's a reminder that winter is always ready to take shot at you, so you have to stay prepared", the 23-year-old Trenton, N.J., resident said. Winter storm stella brought heavy snow and sleet Tuesday to the northeastern United States, where thousands of flights were canceled and most of schools closed. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at airports.

People walk at Times Square in NY, the United States, on March 14, 2017.

Stella, the most powerful winter storm of the season, was forecast to dump up to two feet (60 centimeters) of snow in NY and whip the area with combined with winds of up to 60 miles per hour (95 kilometers per hour), causing treacherous whiteout conditions.

Towns along Pennsylvania's northern tier had almost 16 inches of snow before 9 a.m., while a foot fell in the state capital of Harrisburg and almost 2 feet in the Pocono Mountains. Coastal flood warnings were in effect from MA to Delaware. Reported totals for Greater Boston are hovering around one inch.

The storm closed schools in cities big and small, Amtrak suspended service and the post office halted mail delivery.

The NWS issued a coastal flood advisory for areas around NY, but while the subway and bus services were operating, much of the city remained quiet with schools, shops and businesses largely closed as workers shovelled snow.

Weather forecasters say a nor'easter moving toward MA could bring about 30 to 45 cm of snow, and high winds to central parts of the state Tuesday.

A few inches of snow, sleet and ice covered the streets in the Washington area, where federal workers were allowed to arrive three hours late and the capital's subway system operated on a weekend schedule.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said NY had been worst hit in the central part of the state where 30 inches were predicted and where some of the more than 5,000 plows mobilized would be moving to help respond.

In New Jersey, PSE&G said last night it was still working to restore power to 6,000 customers, and added 150 linemen to its own workforce to speed up repairs.

In Massachusetts, where forecasts called for 30 to 45 centimetres of snow, Gov. Charlie Baker encouraged motorists to stay off the roads and to take public transit only if absolutely necessary.

Schools were closed in NY as well as in parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Virginia.

The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for parts of New Jersey.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan urged people not to be lulled into a false sense of security because of the mild winter.

"Mother Nature is an unpredictable lady sometimes", Cuomo told reporters after meteorologists conceded it was no longer going to be the worst storm of the season on the US East Coast in what has been an unusually mild winter. "They need to be safe".

The conditions caused German Chancellor Angela Merkel to postpone a trip to Washington to meet President Trump.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said about 700 National Guard members were being deployed, along with more than 2,000 snowplows to keep up with the storm. Seven people suffered minor injuries.

The nor'easter comes a week after the region saw temperatures climb above 15 C. Spring officially starts on March 20.

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