Power cuts, airport chaos as storm hits northeast US

Posted February 12, 2017

A densely populated swath of the Northeast was preparing for winter's harshest thump yet, a fast-moving storm that could bring more than a foot of snow, strong winds and coastal flooding.

A group of women wearing their pajamas on a New York City sidewalk because it was "Pajama Day" at ABC's "The Chew" show were undeterred by the snow.

In the face of winter storm warnings for southern New England, including Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia, more than 1,900 flights have preemptively been cancelled.

Times Square, usually packed with pedestrians, was almost empty today as the heavy snowstorm rolled through, with just the bright lights of the billboards illuminating the quiet streets.

According to forecasters, the storm is expected to wrap up around 2 p.m. ET.

The speed limit on the Massachusetts Turnpike from Boston to NY has been reduced to 40 miles per hour, hundreds of school districts have closed, Boston emergency parking restrictions are in effect, trash collection is canceled in the city and non-essential state workers were told to stay home. "Too much snow?" he asked and retweeted a pic of himself from Twin Peaks from when a decorative deer head fell on a table next to him. LOL!

The snow is expected taper off by the early afternoon in the Philadelphia and New York City areas, but New Englanders should brace for snowfall through the evening commute.

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"We urge people to stay indoors and don't get in your vehicle unless you absolutely have to", CT governor Dannel Malloy said.

Winter Storm Warnings are posted for Greater Portland today.

The good news is that the storm is expected to move out quickly. Near-whiteout conditions were possible, with the snow expected to fall at a clip of two to four inches per hour at its peak. In other words, if you're traveling to or from any of those places over the next couple of days, you're going to want to double-check your arrival and departure times and try to make accommodations in case things don't go off without a hitch. Boston Public Schools are canceled tomorrow as well.

In Boston, hundreds of public works trucks had already hit the road before dawn to treat streets.

Fortunately, for impacted air travelers, major airlines (including Delta Air Lines) announced ahead of time that they were waiving change fees for customers in or out of cities in the storm's path.

The storm appears to end for southern and western areas by early evening Thursday, with the last flakes falling over eastern and northern ME in the wee hours of Friday. But Philadelphia schools will be open Friday, officials said.