Monday, January 26, 2015

Hunkerin' down: Tens of millions brace for worst as historic blizzard pummels northeast

Tens of millions across the northeast and New England hunkered down Monday to ride out an historic blizzard, while power crews across the region anticipated massive outages amid hurricane-force winds and plunging temperatures.

Forecasters were predicting one to three feet of snow that promised to paralyze the region for days, with gusts blowing sideways with ever-increasing intensity in New York City by early evening, and flurries underway in Boston. The storm was predicted to build into a blizzard, and the brunt of it would hit late Monday and into Tuesday.


More than 6,500 flights in and out of the region -- home to 50 million people -- were canceled, and many of them may not take off again until Wednesday. New York City's subways and buses planned to shut down completely by 11 p.m., and commuter railroads across the Northeast also announced plans to stop running overnight. leaving workers to scramble to get home before roads became impassable.

Boston was expected to get 2 to 3 feet of snow, New York 1½ to 2 feet, and Philadelphia more than a foot.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for a 250-mile swath of the region, meaning heavy, blowing snow and potential whiteout conditions. Forecasters warned that the wind could gust to 75 mph or more along the Massachusetts coast, and up 50 mph farther inland.

"This will most likely be one of the largest blizzards in the history of New York City," said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said the city had 250,000 tons of salt on hand and would have 40 percent more ambulances than usual ready to roll. He said all non-emergency vehicles would be banned from city streets from 11 p.m. until further notice.

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