Much of America is being hit by the worst storm of ice and snow in a decade. A third of the country has been paralyzed by the storm as it moves through the Canadian border and has caused the cancellation of more than 10,000 flights. In some parts of Chicago, the capital of Illinois, there is a meter of snow and ice three inches thick.
The “super storm”, as the American press has dubbed, has alerted 30 states, from New Mexico to Maine. Authorities in some of those states have already anticipated that, given the magnitude of the snow, they are unable to secure transit by road, and have asked people to refrain from traveling by car unless absolutely necessary.
The storm could leave more than 60 inches of snow (about 24 inches) in the New England region between now and Saturday according to the National Weather Service.
Cities like Boston (Massachusetts), Providence (Rhode Island) and Hartford (Connecticut cancel t) have classes in anticipation of the storm. Also forecast heavy snow in the states of New Hampshire and Maine.
The National Weather Service issued a storm warning, with expected winds of up to 80 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour), from 6:00 this morning until 1:00 pm Saturday.
“The snow accumulation is expected to be fast, strong and dangerous,” said the governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, in a press conference last night.
Boston Airport, one of the largest in the country, has already announced that it will cancel all operations as of this afternoon and Amtrak train service will do the same in his travels in the U.S. northeast corridor.
The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg issued a storm warning for the city.
“We hope that the forecasts are exaggerated on the amount of snow, but you never know,” he said last night, but said that the worst of the storm will occur outside working hours, between Friday night and Saturday morning, it will cushion its effects.
So far they have been canceled more than 3,400 flights today and tomorrow, and more than 60 airports across the United States have been affected, according to air traffic website Flight Aware.
The storm will follow a similar path to Hurricane Sandy that struck the region in November, notably New York and New Jersey, where some reconstruction work still ongoing.
More than 250 flights have been canceled at O’Hare International Airport as a storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow here heads to the Northeast, where it is merging with another system and spawning blizzard warnings from Boston to New York.
About 110 arriving flights and 150 departing flights at O’Hare have been canceled this morning, according to FlightStats, which gathers data from airlines and airports. About 180 flights were delayed.
“People need to take this storm seriously. If current predictions are accurate, we will need people to stay off the roads so that emergency personnel and utility crews can get to the places they need to get to, and make sure that our plows can keep critical roadways clear,” Malloy said.
“Please stay home once the weather gets bad except in the case of real emergency.”
Power outages are expected throughout the northeast. Here are some tips on how to prepare for them.
What should I do?
• Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, wear mittens and a hat(preferably one that covers your ears).
• Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
•Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
• Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS)
What supplies do I need?
• Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
• Food—at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food
• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio(NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
What do I do after a storm?
• Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.
• Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog.
• Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.
• Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting,
Lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.