HARTFORD, Conn. - A storm expected to bring more than a foot of snow in places along with strong winds and punishing cold pushed into the Northeast on Thursday, extending 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.
TIA reports more than 180 delays and at least 23 cancellations. Flights going to New York's JFK are seeing delays of up to five hours.
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Some schools in New England and
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
"What a New Year's gift, to receive one last snowstorm as mayor," said Menino, whose successor takes office on Monday.
De Blasio, who as public advocate in 2010 criticized his predecessor Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his handling of a post-Christmas storm, said hundreds of plows and salt spreaders would be on the streets as soon as the snow started falling Thursday night.
"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."
Snow began falling overnight Wednesday in parts of New England and
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Cape Cod, coastal areas north and south of Boston and part of Maine as well as New York's Long Island, where 8 to 10 inches of snow could fall and winds could gust to 45 mph. Fourteen to 18 inches of snow were forecast, with up to 2 feet in some areas along the Massachusetts coast.
"We're going to see a lot of snow and a lot of wind," forecaster Jason Tuell said. "We're concerned about whiteout conditions possibly tonight with the blowing and drifting snow."
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday night state offices that closed early Thursday would remain closed on Friday. He said National Guard members and state police were on standby for any high tide flooding overnight or Friday in vulnerable coastal areas, but no mandatory evacuations have been ordered.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered three major highways in
Efforts were underway to get homeless people off the streets of
As the storm approached, a worker at a suburban
Interior southern New England and
Amtrak plans to run trains on all of its Northeast lines on Friday but will operate on a modified schedule, said spokeswoman Christina Leeds.
"There's not as many people anticipating travel tomorrow (Friday), so we're operating on a reduced schedule," she said.
Douglass Bibule shopped for rock salt and other supplies at a home improvement store in
"Well, there will be some shoveling that I will have to do and some sanding. 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."
"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.
As the storm pushed eastward on New Year's Day and Thursday, it dropped as much as 18 inches on suburban Chicago and up to 10 inches on Michigan, prompting the cancellation Wednesday of hundreds of flights in and out of Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Below-zero cold is expected across the region over the next few days.
AAA Michigan said it received 3,100 calls Thursday from drivers dealing with spinouts, cars in ditches and dead batteries. Accidents and delays were also reported from
"Anything below 25 degrees and the salt isn't nearly as effective," said Becky Allmeroth, a maintenance engineer with the state of
Authorities said the weather may have been a factor in a fatal crash Wednesday evening involving a pickup and a bus carrying casino patrons in
The weather also was blamed for the death of a woman in
Christoffersen reported from New Haven, Conn. Associated Press writers Wilson Ring in Montpelier, Vt., Holly Ramer in Concord, N.H., Jim Fitzgerald and Jonathan Lemire in New York City, David Sharp in Portland, Maine, Bruce Shipkowski in Toms River, N.J., Jackie Quinn in Washington, D.C., and Jim Salter in St. Louis, contributed to this report.