New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned all travel to and from New York City on Saturday, as a massive snow storm made its way north along the East Coast. The LA Times reports that the storm left Washington buried under a foot of snow, while Pennsylvania and Kentucky motorists were stranded for hours by the winter storm that is nearly a blizzard. The bad weather ban on travelling to and from New York City officially began at 2:30 p.m., and all bridges, roads, and tunnels to and from New York are now closed. Residents will be relieved to know that emergency vehicles still have travel access in New York City during the storm.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 23, 2016
Noon saw the weather closure of the MTA busses, says Cuomo, and all above-ground train and subway services were cancelled at 4 p.m. Mayor Bill de Blasio warns New Yorkers that the weather could bring well over 25 inches of snow and winds of up to 50 mph. De Blasio asks New Yorkers to stay inside during the snow storm. The weather is shaping up to be one of the most powerful snow storms to ever hit the city, in the top ten in all of New York’s history!
“We are going into uncharted territory here.”
— Akhil Sharmaa (@iamakhilsharmaa) January 23, 2016
The mayor warns citizens of the Big Apple to stay indoors during this historic snowy weather.
“There is absolutely no reason to be out in what will be one of the worst snowstorms in New York City history.”
Mayor de Blasio is clearly prioritizing the safety of his city’s citizens and earlier in the day told New Yorkers that they “should head home now.” The statement reinforced the importance of keeping the roads clear so that emergency vehicles can get around unhindered as the weather worsens. The “New York! New York!” Twitter account posted a vine of the storm, captioning it, “Let it snow!” and adding hashtags like “Snowzilla” and #snOMG.
— New York, New York! (@NYC) January 23, 2016
According to the Globe and Mail, the National Weather Service reports that at least 20 states have seen or were expecting to see more wintry weather by the end of Friday. The District of Columbia was also looking forward to some harsh winter weather. States that can expect snow storms and bad weather range from Massachusetts and Connecticut in the north, all the way down and west to Indiana, Georgia, Illinois, and Indiana.
Peter Burke, a meteorologist for the weather service, said that Americans still have a long way to go before the weather picks up, and that the storm is still in its middle stages. Burke says the weather is in “the height of the storm right now.” Some towns have reported nearly 30 inches of snow, and Burke tells us that reports of 40 inches of snow have been received from West Virginia, in the town of Glengary.
— Mack Morris (@MackAttackWX) January 23, 2016
The weather has been blamed for several deaths, while thousands of homes have gone without electricity for sustained amounts of time. Countless traffic accidents have been reported. To make matters worse, flights are being cancelled all over the East Coast and other areas, leaving hundreds stranded in airports across the country. The panic is not unwarranted, as some estimates put the potential snow dump on Washington at as high as two feet by the end of the storm. CBS News reports that Jonas is one of the top five storms ever for New York and Washington.
BREAKING: Winter Storm #Jonas first snowstorm to drop 18″ of snow at both Washington, D.C. and New York City: pic.twitter.com/C4KXWRqAQk
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) January 23, 2016
The snowy weather is not all bad news, however. Residents of Washington have been making the windy journey to Capitol Hill for sledding and winter sports. The activity was made legal this year by an act of Congress. Lucky for Washingtonites! The city has become something of a winter wonderland to residents, who marvel at the snow-capped buildings, structures, and roads. One happy sledder described the scene as “unbelievable.” Leave it to Washington to turn a record-setting snow storm into an excuse for fun!
A panda, some DC police officers, and a Washington Capitals player show how this snow can actually be fun. https://t.co/gchV9iVtHx
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) January 23, 2016
[Photo by Associated Press]