Tens of millions of people living in the Northeast hurried home Monday as a very powerful, massive winter storm of historic proportions was bearing down on the region. Forecasters are warning that this huge winter storm will bring with it hurricane-force winds and several feet of snow that could very well paralyze the Northeast for several days. As the system moves eastward, it will pick up speed and turn into a blizzard with the brunt of it hitting overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning.
Over 7000 flights coming and going out of the region have already been grounded with many of them not scheduled to go into the air again until Wednesday. Schools, businesses and government offices were also closing their doors as the winter storm was bearing down on the region. The National Weather Service said Monday that the snow could come down at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour and that it could very well accumulate in feet in many parts of the Northeast including New Jersey, NYC and Boston. New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio said that this will most likely be one of the biggest blizzards in the history of the Big Apple. He told city residents to go home and stay there as it will be too dangerous to be outside. New York could get 2 feet of snow when all is said and done while Boston could see 3 feet or even more.
The NWS put a blizzard warning into effect for a large swatch of the country from Philadelphia to Boston warning that heavy, blowing snow and whiteout conditions will prevail. The service said that the winds could gust up to 75 miles per hour or even more along the coast of Massachusetts and up to 50 miles per hour further inland. Subway and bus lines were shut down in New York City and Amtrak canceled some of its service as well ahead of the massive storm. All travel is banned on city streets and highways in New York City and on Long Island. There are also travel bans in effect in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island for all non-essential travel.
While people living in the Northeast are used to big snowstorms, getting 2 to 3 feet all at once along with hurricane-force winds is another story altogether. It is feared that widespread power outages will occur due to downed trees and powerlines. People were rushing to area grocery stores across the region Monday afternoon to stock up on essentials as they were being warned they may be stuck inside their homes for several days due to unsafe travel conditions.