/Winter Storm Live Updates: Eastern Massachusetts Will Be Hard-Hit, Expert Says – The New York Times

Winter Storm Live Updates: Eastern Massachusetts Will Be Hard-Hit, Expert Says – The New York Times


As dawn neared on Saturday, a powerful winter storm was beginning to pummel eastern Massachusetts after bringing snow and brisk winds to the New York City metropolitan area and parts of New England.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Virginia issued emergency declarations ahead of the storm’s arrival on Friday night, and more than 5,000 flights were canceled up and down the coast, many of them at airports in Boston and around New York City.

There were no major reports of damages or power outages across the Northeast as of 5 a.m.. The National Weather Service office on Long Island — where snowfall totals of more than 16 inches were forecast in Nassau and Suffolk Counties — said that about an inch had fallen there as of 1 a.m.

Blizzard warnings were in effect for a wide swath of the East Coast. And people across the region were bracing for a day of freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, treacherous travel conditions and the potential for widespread power failures.

Four hours before dawn, the National Weather Service predicted that heavy snow rates and strong winds would combine to produce “dangerous blizzard conditions” across coastal parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic on Saturday. It said that travel in those areas would be “nearly impossible” amid whiteout conditions.

The storm was expected to dissipate by Sunday, but not before dumping more than a foot of snow along coastal areas of the Northeast and two feet or more in parts of eastern Massachusetts.

“That’s where the bull’s-eye is,” Bryce Williams, a meteorologist at the Weather Service office in Boston, said by telephone just before 2 a.m. as snow piled up on his car in a nearby parking lot. Three hours later, he said that two to four inches had been recorded along coastal areas of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Mr. Williams said that the heaviest snowfall in Eastern Massachusetts would be moving in just after sunrise and lingering through about 4 p.m. He said that Eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island were likely to have the highest accumulations along the East Coast on Saturday.

Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard were likely to experience the fiercest winds, potentially even hurricane-force gusts, he added. A coastal flood warning was in effect for the east coast of Massachusetts for Saturday morning.

In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s emergency declaration for New York City, Long Island, and Rockland and Westchester Counties took effect on Friday night. Five to 10 inches of snow were expected in the city and the mid-Hudson region.

As the storm moved through southern New England, the Weather Service said, areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island could have whiteout conditions and as much as two to four inches of snow per hour. Mr. Williams said that heavy snowfall combined with high winds would increase the potential for power outages, especially for coastal areas of southeastern Massachusetts.

Air travel was in disarray even before the storm hit. Data from FlightAware, a site that tracks flights and the airline industry, showed that many canceled flights on Saturday had been scheduled to take off from Boston Logan International Airport and the three main aviation hubs for New York City: LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty.

Delta said on Friday that it would suspend operations at those airports through Sunday morning and restart them on Sunday afternoon if conditions allowed.

As for road conditions, Mr. Williams of the Weather Service said that snow, wind and low visibility would make it very difficult for anyone — including himself — who planned to drive.

“If you don’t have to be out and about, we’re trying to say: Stay home until Sunday,” he said. “Fortunately, Sunday looks quiet, so it’ll give us time for people to clean up and hopefully get back to normal by the start of the week.”

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