Northeast braces for ‘potentially historic’ snowstorm – Fox News

 The Northeast is bracing for a crippling snowstorm that the National Weather Service called “potentially historic” and could dump 2 to 3 feet of snow from northern New Jersey to Connecticut.

 “This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Sunday.

During the news conference De Blasio held up a list of the city’s top 10 snowstorms and said this one could land at the top of a list that goes back to 1827. “Don’t underestimate this storm. Prepare for the worst,” he said as he urged residents to plan to leave work early Monday.

A blizzard warning was issued for New York and Boston and the National Weather Service said the storm could bring heavy snow and powerful winds starting Monday and into Tuesday.

“Commuters should consider working from home on Monday if possible to avoid disruptions from likely road and public transportation closures,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “New York State is taking all necessary precautions to prepare for this storm, and I urge residents to put safety first and plan ahead to protect themselves and others throughout the duration of this snowstorm.”

Boston is expected to get 18 to 24 inches of snow, and Philadelphia could see 14 to 18 inches.

“There’s the potential for a significant snowstorm to impact the entire Northeast U.S.,” meteorologist Patrick Maloit said.

Areas east of New York City could receive in excess of a foot of snow if the storm develops as feared, he said, stressing that’s still “a big if.”

According to the flight tracking site FlightAware, around 700 flights scheduled for Monday are expected to be cancelled.

Preparations large and small were in effect elsewhere in New York. A Manhattan Home Depot store sold about twice as many shovels over the weekend as it normally does while transit officials hoping to keep the subways running smoothly planned to use modified subway cars loaded with de-icing fluid to spray the third rail that powers trains.

Farther north, a blizzard warning was issued for Boston from Monday night through early Wednesday. Wind gusts of 60 mph or more are possible on Cape Cod, forecasters said.

Wyatt Baars, manager of the Charlestown Ace Hardware in Boston, sold out of his bags of ice-melting pellets. But he said a New Hampshire distributor is helping him and delivering more.

“Everybody is preparing for the storm,” he said. “When we have something this big on the horizon, everybody comes in for the ice melt, snow shovels, snow brooms.”

Snow plow driver Al Laplant expected to be out clearing roads of Simsbury, Connecticut, this week, just as he has for more than two decades.

“We’ll be out there until the storm’s over and then at least three hours after cleaning up,” he said as he attended a home show in Hartford. “We’ll be out there through the whole storm.”

But even for a plow driver, the snow is no cakewalk.

“It’s kind of exhilarating,” he said. “But at the same time, I’ve been doing it for 27 years, so I’m kind of tired of it myself.”

The storm, which brewed late Saturday around the Iowa-Minnesota line, is likely to track down into the central Appalachians and then very slowly traverse its way through the Northeast states and reach the Gulf of Maine late Tuesday night, he said. The slow movement of the storm, he said, could help produce quite a bit of snowfall and blizzard-like or blizzard conditions: at least three hours of wind gusts of 35 mph or greater and visibility of less than a quarter of a mile because of snow or blowing snow.

The storm could stall before it tracks out to sea, bringing high wind, heavy precipitation and the potential for coastal flooding, the National Weather Service said. It would be the second wallop for the Northeast after what happened Saturday, when a storm crawling up the East Coast left a slushy, snowy coating from Pennsylvania to New England.

The storm dumped at least 9 inches of snow in parts of Pennsylvania and 8 inches in parts of New York, northern New Jersey and northwestern Connecticut, with widespread reports of more than 4 inches in inland areas across southern New England. Lighter amounts were reported in Philadelphia, Boston and New York City, where the snowfall stopped Saturday evening.

About 8 inches of snow fell in far eastern Maine before the storm moved out late Saturday night.

Numerous accidents were reported on the slick roads, but there were no major highway backups in the lighter weekend traffic. Police in Connecticut and Massachusetts were investigating the weather’s role in traffic accidents that killed two people Saturday afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

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