While certain areas of the Northeastern United States have been spared Winter Storm Stella‘s worst, at least 18 million people are still dealing with debilitating amounts of snow, sleet, and wind perpetrated by the blizzard. By 10 a.m. local time, the Weather Channel determined a foot of snow had already fallen in parts of New York and Pennsylvania, and judging by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s phone interview with CNN, things are only going to get worse before they get any better.
“This storm is a little tricky for us because it’s a statewide event. Normally with a state as big as New York, it’s either one end or the other,” Cuomo explained. “This is statewide so we are fully deployed. We have 5,000 plows, 2,000 National Guards-people who’ve been called out to help. One of the good things is we got ahead of it yesterday. The airports are basically closed in New York — John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. Government is closed, schools are closed, so there’s no real reason to be on the roads.”
Like in Binghamton, New York, which accrued nearly a foot of snow in just four hours early Tuesday. If that rate of snowfall holds, the National Weather Service suggests the area’s record for total snow in a 24-hour period (24 inches) could be broken.
As for the aforementioned airport closures, emergency travel restrictions throughout the northeast have canceled or rerouted over 7,800 flights between Monday and Wednesday. Cuomo and state officials from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and much of New England also cautioned against all unnecessary travel — especially along the coast, where winds of up to 50 to 60 mph are amplifying the storm’s ill effects and reducing visibility to zero.
CNN notes the MTA in New York City and the MBTA in Boston have suspended their above ground subway services. Major train routes between the two cities offered by Amtrack and others have also been temporarily shut down for the day. While New York City ultimately canceled its blizzard warning, New York, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have all declared a state of emergency.