US snowstorm: East coast struck by mammoth snowfall

2 years ago
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Parts of the eastern United States have received 71cm (28in) of snow fall in a huge blizzard that is sweeping across the region.

Heavy snow began falling on Friday across more than 20 states, affecting some 85 million people.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said the storm could be one of the worst ever to hit the city. All non-essential travel is to be banned in the city.

At least 10 people have died and emergencies declared in 10 states.

Tens of thousands of homes are without power. Traffic jams lasting at least 12 hours have been reported in Kentucky and Pennsylvania

The nation’s capital, Washington, could lie under a record 30in (76cm) of snow by the time the storm passes on Sunday. At the White House, 13in (33cm) of snow fell overnight.

The heaviest snowfalls recorded so far (up to 09:00 eastern time, 14:00 GMT) include:

  • 28in (71cm) – Terra Alta, West Virginia
  • 24in (61cm) – Philippi, West Virginia; Oakland, Maryland
  • 23in (58cm) – Ridgeley, Maryland; Champion and Marklesburg, Pennsylvania

The weather system affects a huge swathe of the country, from Alabama in the south to Massachusetts in the north-east.

Mr de Blasio said New York City was now expecting up to two feet of snow, which would make it one of the five largest storms ever to hit the city.

In a news conference, he urged citizens to get off the road. “This is bad and getting worse rapidly,” his office tweeted.

He has signed an executive order banning all non-essential travel in the city from 14:30 local time (19:30 GMT).

All Broadway shows on Saturday are cancelled, Mr de Blasio announced.

 

In Kentucky, a 35-mile (56km) traffic jam is clearing, after thousands of drivers found themselves stranded overnight on Interstate 75 by heavy snow and a number of accidents.

The Red Cross erected shelters along the highway. Kentucky State Police tweetedthat officers were taking water, fuel and snacks to the motorists, some of whom had been stuck for more than 12 hours.

Further north, on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a number of other vehicles have been stuck in snow for at least 12 hours after the road closed. One university basketball team that was stranded said they were running out of leftover pizza and getting hungry.

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