A powerful winter storm engulfed the US Northeast on Monday, blanketing much of the region in heavy snow, blasting coastal areas with high winds and bringing New York City and other major urban centres nearly to a standstill.
Power outages driven by wind and heavy, wet snow are possible overnight across the region, but none had been reported by early Monday evening.
“It’s the storm of the century!” predicted snowplough operator James Carew, 56, of Union, New Jersey, noting he had been clearing snow for 30 years.
Winter storm warnings and weather advisories were in place across the region. Outdoor subway service in New York City and PATH commuter trains linking Manhattan and New Jersey were suspended. The city closed public school buildings through Tuesday.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York City and 44 other counties and warned of possible road closures in the hours ahead.
“This is a dangerous situation. A life-threatening situation,” Cuomo told a news conference. “Expect closures. It’s going to get very bad very quickly.”
More than 90 percent of flights at New York City-area airports were cancelled, said Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and operations suspended at La Guardia and John F Kennedy airports in Queens.
COVID-19 vaccination sites and testing locations were forced to close or change schedules.
In Boston, health officials closed a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Reggie Lewis Center, a large indoor sports centre.