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Jan 03, 2014| Courtesy by : dailymail.co.uk
Almost 100 million people across the Northeast battened-down-the-hatches as the huge winter storm dubbed Hercules slammed the Northeast with stiff winds and punishing cold temperatures on Thursday, dumping nearly 2 feet of snow in parts of the region and threatening more.
New York City public schools were closed on Friday – a decision made by newly appointed Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina shortly before 5 a.m. It’ll mean a snow day for 1.1 million students.
The National Weather Service said 21 inches of snow had fallen in Boxford, just north of Boston, by Thursday night, while other parts of the state had 17 or 18 inches. It added that parts of upstate New York had received 18 inches while New York City was on course to get about 8.
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Selfie’s: Snowfall in the northeastern United States caused flight cancellations and airport delays while federal government offices and schools closed due to the foul weather
With bone-chilling conditions that could freeze exposed skin in 15 minutes expected in the aftermath of the snowfall, authorities warned people to stay indoors and to only travel when necessary.
Indeed, tragically before the huge nor’easter even landed, it claimed its first victim when a man died in a tragic industrial accident on Thursday at a Philadelphia facility after the heavy machine he was operating was crushed by a huge pile of rock salt – which was being used to keep the roads clear.
The sad incident happened at 3.30 pm at the International Salt Facility in Bucks County, Pennsylvania when the man was transporting the rock salt with a front-end loader when the 100-foot pile toppled over and buried him and his vehicle.
His colleagues and emergency crews frantically used shovels to try and dig him out but when they reached the man he was found dead still sitting in his seat. Officials have not released the name or age of the victim. ‘It’s going to be brutal,’ Weather Channel coordinating meteorologist Tom Moore said of the sub-zero temperatures to NBC News. ‘People that are vulnerable are really going to be hurting.’
A man plows snow during winter storm “Hercules” in lower Manhattan January 2, 2014 in New York City. The storm is expected to dump up to 10 inches of snow overnight
The highest temperature in New York City will be in the early teens on Friday during the day and drop to between 5 and 8 degrees in the evening, with the wind chill making it feel well below zero.
The brutal weather extended Christmas break for some students while posing the first test for New York’s new mayor and perhaps the last challenge for Boston’s outgoing one.
Some schools in New England and New York closed well ahead of Thursday’s snowfall.
Jersey City announced it will close its schools as will Philadelphia.
Freezing: People walk through the West Village neighborhood as snow begins to fall in New York January 2, 2014. The governors of New York and New Jersey declared a state of emergency and urged residents to stay indoors
Protection: People walk through the West Village neighborhood as the governors of New York and New Jersey declared a state of emergency and urged residents to stay indoors as a major winter storm hit the northeastern United States on Thursday
Cities have mobilized plows and salt spreaders. Some major highways have been ordered shut down overnight. Efforts are underway to get homeless people into the warmth and safety of shelters.
U.S. airlines have canceled more than 2,300 flights nationwide.
The heavy weather began rolling in just a day after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was sworn in to lead the nation’s largest city and a few days before Boston Mayor Thomas Menino ends 20 years in office.
Menino announced a parking ban and said schools would be closed Friday in Boston, where up to 14 inches of snow was expected.
‘What a New Year’s gift, to receive one last snowstorm as mayor,’ said Menino, whose successor takes office on Monday.
The deadly winter storm is threatening 100 million people with up to 18 inches of snow and bitter cold temperatures tonight as it blasts across the Midwest and bares down on the East Coast.
Wrapped up: Two-month-old Jack Hsi takes a nap sheltered in his baby carrier while snow falls in Boston, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. Up to 14 inches of snow is forecast for the Boston area
The evening commute on the first workday of 2014 became treacherous – or even impossible – as officials urged drivers from Maine to Washington, D.C., to clear off the roads after 7pm.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this afternoon that three major New York expressways would be closed from midnight until 5am Friday – the Long Island Expressway, Interstate 87 South and Interstate 84.
Newly minted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio struck a confidant pose while facing his first major challenge as mayor just a day after taking office, calling the city ‘ready for whatever hits us.
‘We have to get it right, no question about it,’ de Blasio said. ‘We are focused like a laser on protecting this city and getting everyone ready. We have all hands on deck.’
‘Please, starting this evening, stay indoors for the maximum extent possible,’ said de Blasio.
‘If you don’t need to go out, please don’t go out.’
Cold call: A restaurant delivery person rides his bike through the West Village neighbourhood as snow begins to fall in New York January 2, 2014
Rush home: A shopper pushes a cart while walking out of a store under heavy snow, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Fairfield, N.J. Snow and bone-chilling temperatures are expected for the overnight hours with substantial accumulation predicted
Blizzard city: A lone cyclist works his way down Walnut Street, avoiding traffic but not the falling snow Thursday night, Jan. 2, 2014
Residents in parts of New York can expect to experience dangerously low temperatures, as will chills deep past zero degrees–cold enough to freeze your skin.
‘It’s going to be dangerous to be outside during the overnight hours,’ National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Morrin told the Wall Street Journal. ‘Exposed skin could start to freeze within 15 minutes.’
Nearly 2,300 flights have been canceled and Boston’s Logan International Airport – one of the busiest in the nation – will shut down entirely from 8pm today until noon on Friday.
North of the New York, it will be even colder. Lows in Boston will be below zero. Maine could see the mercury drop to minus 30 after dark.
‘That is a very, very dangerous set of circumstances,’ Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said.
He dismissed all state workers at 3 p.m. and urged residents to minimize time outside and be aware of frostbite and hypothermia symptoms.
Indeed the brutal temperatures broke temperature records in Minnesota on Thursday and a second wave of icy weather is expected to hit the nation on Sunday – stretching from Kentucky to Tennessee.
Chicago will struggle to get above minus 8 and by Monday morning the wind will make it feel like it’s 40 below zero there.
‘The saying it’s too cold to snow, won’t apply Thursday night and early Friday. Temperatures for much of this storm will be in the single numbers and this will create a snow that is as light as you will ever see in this part of the world. You should be able to actually use a push broom to move the snow if you would like.,’ said David Epstein, a meteorologist in Maine to Fox News.
‘It’s going to be a long-duration event,’ said Michael Palmer, lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel to NBC News.
‘The wind is going to whip around the snow and reduce the visibility, creating near-blizzard conditions in Boston, much of Connecticut and then down maybe as far south as New Jersey and even New York City.’
The National Weather Service’s blizzard warning began at 6 p.m. on Thursday and predicted an inch an hour with 45 mph winds through Thursday.
As of late Thursday in Connecticut, about 3 inches of snow had fallen in Hartford County, and 3 inches were reported in East Hartford and Simsbury. Parts of New Hampshire had 5.5 inches, and parts of Rhode Island had more than 2.
Outreach teams looked to get homeless people off the streets of New York City and Boston.
In Boston, staff members at the Pine Street Inn shelter were keeping it open 24 hours and said they would turn no one away, even if it meant setting up extra cots in lobbies and other common areas.
Amtrak planned to run trains on all of its Northeast lines on Friday but operate on a modified schedule, spokeswoman Christina Leeds said.
In New York, Consolidated Edison utility spokesman Sidney Alvarez said the utility was expecting the snow to remain powdery rather than wet and heavy, ‘but with any type of snow, you’re looking at extra weight on branches that can snap and bring power lines down.’
Douglass Bibule shopped for rock salt and other supplies at a home improvement store in Watertown.
‘Well, there will be some shoveling that I will have to do and some sanding,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to go home and do some stretching exercises to make sure I don’t hurt myself while doing that, and do a little shopping to make sure that we have all the supplies that we need. We need food because we have three older children at home.’
In Maine, the cold didn’t deter Andrew Kosak from swinging by Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick to take advantage of a cold-weather promotion: The price of a gelato drops 1 percent for every degree below freezing.
‘It’s never too cold for gelato,’ Kosak quipped after receiving a 36 percent discount that reflected the minus-4 temperature during an outing with his wife and two daughters.
On its way! This graphic shows expected snowfall on the East Coast throughout the day until tomorrow
‘There will be travel problems,’ said Hugh Johnson, a weather service meteorologist in Albany, New York. ‘It will be very cold.’
On Tuesday, the same storm – dubbed Winter Storm Hercules – plunged temperatures in Winnipeg, Canada, to -24 degrees Fahrenheit – colder than the surface of Mars (-20 degrees).
The storm is already responsible for killing at least two people in the Midwest.
On Wednesday night, a pickup and a bus carrying casino patrons collided on a snowy, slushy highway outside South Bend, Indiana, killing the truck’s driver and injuring 15 passengers of the bus.
Earlier Wednesday, a 21-year-old college student in La Crosse, Wisconsin, died when his car slid off an embankment in snowy conditions and plunged into a frigid creek.
The Midwest has already been hammered by the storm – bringing six to ten inches of snowfall to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
Chicago has seen up to 18 inches of snowfall in the last two days – the most on New Year’s since 1999.Temperatures are expected to dip into the negative digits for the Windy City on Friday and into the weekend.
Several cities have already hit record lows, including in La Crosse, where the mercury dropped to -7. On New Year’s Even, International Falls, Minnesota, hit a record -39 degrees.
Nearly a quarter of all flights into and out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport – the second busiest hub in the nation – have been canceled. More than a third of flights into and out of Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport in Ohio have been put on ice.
Snow sticks to Nikko, a 10-year-old Havanese (left), as her owner Laurie Edwards (right) cleans off her car and digs out in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Thursday
Boston’s Logan International Airport announced that it would shut down entirely for about 18 hours to wait out the storm. The airport will stop accepting flights at 8pm and will not allow planes to land until noon on Friday.
Although lesser amounts of snow were forecast to the south, Philadelphia and parts of southern New Jersey were expected to see 3 to 7 inches of blowing, drifting snow.
In Toms River, New Jersey, Jonas Caldwell said he was prepared for whatever the storm might bring.
‘Santa brought me a snow blower, and I’ve got rock salt for the ice, so now I’m just waiting for the storm,’ he said while grabbing a coffee at a convenience store.
Caldwell, an investment adviser, said he could work from home if necessary, but he was hoping that wouldn’t be the case.
‘There are too many distractions at home,’ he said. ‘But I won’t be stupid … If it gets as bad as they say it will be, or looks like it will, I’ll be staying put.’
In Hartford, Connecticut, Hal Guy, of nearby Glastonbury, was shopping for snow shovels – three, to be exact.
‘We broke a couple in the last storm,’ he said. ‘We have four kids, so, three shovels, and we still have a little one back home.’
Guy said three of his kids, girls ages 8, 10 and 12, have been out of school for two weeks for the holidays and hope to get a couple more days off with the snow.
Over in Maine, where some communities are still recovering from a recent ice storm that cut power to more than 100,000 customers, people seemed prepared for more winter weather.
Kelly St. Denis, of Auburn, went skiing Wednesday at the Sunday River ski area with family and friends. She said it’s been cold but the skiing has been good.
‘Hey, it’s winter in Maine,’ she said. ‘We go with it.’
Meteorologists say that the extreme winter weather has been caused by the combination of three low pressure systems from the south and the east.
In Michigan the icy weather did not stop hockey fans enjoying the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs play in the annual Winter Classic outdoor game on Wednesday. Despite the low temperatures and wind chill of 32 degrees, a world record crowd of 105,491 watched the game at Michigan Stadium.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2532566/Storm-Hercules-grip-Northeast-Canada-records-temperatures-cold-MARS.html#ixzz2pKxPaeaZ
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