By: NIAH MADIGAN
A powerful storm is working its way up the east coast, bringing heavy snow and winds from Pennsylvania to Maine. “Snowfall rates may exceed 2 inches per hour”, the National Weather Service said. “This intense snowfall combined with strong winds will create near blizzard conditions with extremely limited visibility, making travel difficult to impossible.”
The governors of Connecticut and New Jersey declared states of emergency, as did the cities of Philadelphia and New York. Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, signed an order restricting nonessential travel until next Tuesday morning, as well as closing public schools.
“This is a dangerous situation,” New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference on Monday. “A life-threatening-situation. Expect closures. It’s going to get very bad very quickly.”
All forms of travel across the east coast have been halted. More than 1600 flights have been cancelled in major airports, and all flights have been suspended as of Monday morning at New York’s La Guardia Airport.
Travel has not been the only thing put to a stop; vaccine distribution in Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, parts of Washington, DC, and the New York area have been halted. New York City has closed all of its vaccine sites until Wednesday, and Rhode Island has temporarily closed all state-opened testing sites.
The storm has hit the Midwest and even the west coast, some parts of California experiencing more than six feet of snow. “A lot of uncertainty remains, but most models are hinting at an arctic air mass diving south bringing well below normal temperatures,” wrote the NWS.