Blizzard roars into US Northeast, snarling travel

Extreme Cold Follows East Coast Winter Storm

Extreme Cold Follows East Coast Winter Storm

"The MBTA is always going to have problems because so much of its track is outdoors", said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University who is an expert on transit issues.

Blizzard warnings were in place along the coast from North Carolina to ME, with the National Weather Service forecasting winds as high as 115km/h that may bring down tree limbs and knock out power.

Up to 46cm of snow was forecast for Boston and coastal areas of northern New England. Heavy snow and high winds also hit NY.

The first major winter storm of 2018 bore down on the US Northeast on Thursday, closing schools and government offices and disrupting travel as work crews scrambled to clear roads of snow before plummeting temperatures turn it to treacherous ice. From Carolinas to Maine.

On Nantucket, the National Weather Service says it received reports of a wind gust of 76 miles per hour on Thursday and a gust of 75 miles per hour in Wellfleet, on Cape Cod.

Cold Weather Safety Tips for Pet Owners
Cold Weather Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Utility companies across the East worked to fix downed power lines early on Friday as about 21,000 customers remained without electricity, down from nearly 80,000 the day before, and issued warnings that temperatures may become dangerously low.

The wintry weather has been blamed for at least 14 deaths in the past few days, including four in North Carolina traffic accidents and three in Texas because of the cold.

More than 3,500 US airline flights were canceled.

Flights resumed from the region's bustling airports in Boston and NY, although 20 percent were again cancelled at John F. Kennedy airport and 30 percent from La Guardia, the FlightAware website said.

Almost 500 members of the National Guard were activated on the coast on Thursday night to assist with the emergency response, including 200 in NY state, the US Department of Defence said. LaGuardia on Thursday evening announced on Twitter that the suspension had been lifted.

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A massive winter storm has roared down the USA and Canadian east coast, forcing the closure of schools, businesses and the cancellation of thousands of flights.

Late on Wednesday, a baggage vehicle and two sleeper cars on an Amtrak train traveling from Miami to NY, with 311 passengers aboard, derailed as it was slowly backing into a station in Savannah, Georgia. Federal government offices planned to delay opening for two hours on Thursday, while state officials in CT and MA ordered non-essential workers to stay home.

In New York's Fort Greene neighbourhood, Mohammed Farid Khan said his morning commute took three times as long as usual because of train woes.

In Boston, the tidal surge flooded the area around the city's historic Long Wharf with icy seawater.

On Wednesday, the same storm brought historic cities in the Southeastern United States their heaviest snowfall in three decades.

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Most departing and arriving flights were also cancelled or delayed at Halifax Stanfield airport.

More than 10,000 people lost electricity across MA on Thursday, although nearly all of them had their power restored by Friday, according the National Grid website.

Through Friday, as much as 45cm of snow is expected in parts of New Brunswick, while more than 50cm could be dumped on the eastern tip of the Gaspe Peninsula in the province of Quebec, according to Environment Canada.

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