Powerful winter storm triggers transport chaos and power outages across US east coast

Jan 30, 2022: According to an AFP report, heavy snowfall caused by strong winds engulfed the eastern US on Saturday, as one of the strongest winter storms in years caused transport chaos and power outages in an area of ​​about 70 million people. 

Major cities such as New York and Boston have been hit by a blizzard, which the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed intensified on Saturday in a “bomb cyclone” – characterized by a sharp drop in atmospheric pressure.  The worst-hit areas of New York and Massachusetts received two feet of snow early in the evening, with more than 95,000 homes in Massachusetts without power.

Residents of the US East Coast towns and cities have been urged to avoid all unnecessary travel for the second night of whiteout conditions, and the extra snowfall is expected to be the heaviest in New England.

Authorities in Long Island say a snowmobile operator found a woman dead in her car. The streets of New York City were lined with salt machines and ice ploughs, with Central Park covered in 7.5 inches of snow and regional train lines partially closed. In Times Square, the famous neon billboards created glowing halls in the icy air.

New York and the neighboring state of New Jersey plus Virginia, Maryland and Delaware declared emergencies for all or part of the states.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the storm’s perils were not over yet, warning residents Saturday that “the most dangerous phase of the storm is now. Please continue to avoid any unnecessary travel while our crews are working to clear the roads,” she warned.

In Boston where a snow emergency was declared, Mayor Michelle Wu tweeted a reminder Saturday “to stay off the roads if you can.”

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said there had been “serious whiteout conditions for most of the midday today,” and that there was still “pretty limited visibility out there.”

Boston Public Works said 900 snow plows were working hard on city streets. According to Flight Tracker FlightAware, more than 3,500 flights to or from the US were canceled on Saturday, and only more than 1,000 flights have already been canceled for Sunday.

The total cancellation on Friday was more than 1,450. The recent blizzard comes on the heels of a similar winter storm that swept across eastern North America – from Georgia to Canada – just two weeks ago, cutting off power to thousands of homes and Thousands of flights were also disrupted.

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US: Thousands of flights cancelled as parts of East Coast brace for snow storm