Snow storm hits east coast that causes New Jersey to issue a state of emergency and closes down New York.

Winter Storm Jonas: Snow Storm Causes Shutdowns And States Of Emergency

A snow storm blanketed much of the East Coast in white this weekend.

Starting Friday night, the snow storm began to cause havoc for the East Coast. By early Saturday it was clear that the initial predictions of 16 to 18 inches of snow for New York and New Jersey was on the very low side.

At approximately 4 p.m. the snow storm had blanketed JFK in New York with upwards of 20 inches of snow. In Redhouse, Maryland, the snow reached 38 inches. The highest snow fall at that time measured in at about 40 inches and was found in Glengary, West Virginia, with no end to the storm in sight.

Mid-Saturday, the storm reached blizzard status according to the National Weather Service. The storm has officially been named Winter Storm Jonas.

In many areas the snow was accompanied by strong winds, hail, and ice. As a result, the storm has forced eleven states to declare states of emergency: New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Kentucky.

Many of the states affected by Winter Storm Jonas also shut down public transportation and banned all car travel.

New York was one of the states that banned non-essential travel in the city, Saturday afternoon. The ban went into effect at 2:30 p.m. and is set to continue until 7 a.m. Sunday morning.

NYPD officers set up checkpoints throughout the city to ensure that no one was able to sneak past the travel ban. They weren’t only handing out tickets to people who tried to get by, but they also upped the ante and made it an arrestable offense.

“If you are on road and you don’t need to be there, you are subject to arrest,” said NYPD Chief of Department James P. O’Neill in a press statement according to NBC New York. “It’s not what we want to do, but if we have to do it, we will.”

In support of the travel ban, New York and New Jersey officials closed off the Port Authority, the George Washington Bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel, the Holland Tunnel, the Bayonne Bridge, the Goethals Bridge, and the Outerbridge Crossing. Those travel avenues will be reopened at the same time the travel ban reaches its conclusion.

Leaders of the various states have urged people that not only should travel be avoided, but going outside should also be avoided altogether.

[ Photo by Michael Q. Asher ]
The concern is not without reason. By Saturday afternoon the snow storm had already racked up a body count.

According to KTLA, 14 people have been found dead as a direct result of the snow storm. There were six deaths in North Carolina, three each in Virginia and New York, and one each in Kentucky and Maryland. The three deaths in New York were caused by the victim’s hearts giving out during the task of shoveling snow.

“If you are out on the street, get in now,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told KTLA.

In Washington D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser was concerned that there were way too many people out in the snow. Even just walking to a destination could be dangerous due to the visibility issues caused by Winter Storm Jonas.

“Visibility is poor, so anyone walking or driving in the area runs the risk of getting hit by crews who are trying to clear the roads,” she said.

[ Photo by NOAA GOES Project/NASA via AP ]
Throughout Saturday and Sunday the snow storm has also caused approximately 10,000 cancelled flights and over 250,000 people to experience power outages.

Winter Storm Jonas is set to begin tapering off Saturday night. The snow should stop completely in the early morning hours of Sunday.

[ Photo by AP Photo/Julie Jacobson ]