Home US News Storm Stella: North-eastern US states hit by huge snowstorms

Storm Stella: North-eastern US states hit by huge snowstorms

by InterSpaceReporter


A man walks through the snow in New York City on TuesdayImage copyright

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A man walks through the snow in New York City on Tuesday

The north-eastern US states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia have declared states of emergency as a huge winter storm sweeps in, bringing heavy snow.

The US National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings from eastern Pennsylvania to south-west Maine.

Schools are closed and thousands of flights have been cancelled.

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

It has now been rescheduled for Friday.

With winds of up to 60mph (100km/h), the storm is expected to cause severe disruption for commuters across many parts of the north-east.

In all, about 50 million people across the country have been warned about the severe weather.

There has also been heavy snow in other parts of the country. In the state of Wisconsin, four people aged over 60 died in separate incidents while shovelling snow, according US media.

Why do so many people die shovelling snow?

House in New York state encased in ice

Less snow than anticipated is now expected to fall in New York City, with the forecast downgraded to between 4 and 8 inches (10-20cm) by the US National Weather Service.

However, up to two feet of snow was still expected other parts of New York state, the service said.

Media captionBBC Weather’s John Hammond looks at where the storm is headed

“During its height we could see snowfall rates of 1-3 inches (2.5-7.6cm), even up to four inches per hour,” said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist based in Taunton, Massachusetts.

More than 6,800 flights have been cancelled, tracking service FlightAware reported, with airports in New York, Washington, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia worst hit.

Many schools have closed in New York and Rhode Island, and in some towns across Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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New York city is experiencing freezing conditions

Declaring a state of emergency, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said commuters should expect road closures, delays and cancellations.

“I strongly urge everyone to limit unnecessary travel on Tuesday and if you must drive, please plan ahead, be careful, and stay safe,” he said in a statement.

Last night, Mr Cuomo advised New Yorkers to prepare food supplies for seven to 10 days, and an emergency supply of bottled water.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also declared a state of emergency and ordered all state employees not involved in the response to stay at home.

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Wall Street’s bull-and-girl statue, covered in snow in New York City

In Canada, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces are also bracing for the storm, and numerous flights have already been cancelled and delayed.

The winter storm follows a spell of unusually mild weather in the north-eastern US, with last month being the second warmest February since record-keeping began in 1895.

President Trump said he had spoken to Homeland Security and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was ready to provide assistance where needed.

“Everybody in government is fully prepared and ready,” he said. “Let’s hope it’s not going to be as bad as some people are predicting. Usually it isn’t.”

In 2016 New York experienced the biggest snowstorm in the city’s history, with a record 27.3 inches falling on Central Park in 24 hours.

The blizzard brought parts of the north-eastern states to a standstill, and left 18 people dead.

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