NEW YORK: Authorities in the US northeast warned Sunday (Monday in Manila) of a fast-moving winter storm that could cause regional chaos and dump as much as three feet (just under a meter) of snow on New York City.
With parts of the region already hit by a strong winter system over the weekend, New Yorkers braced for what Mayor Bill de Blasio said could be a storm “the likes of which we’ve never seen before.”
“We are facing most likely one of the largest snow storms in the history of this city,” de Blasio told a news conference, telling residents to stay home if possible as up to three feet of snow blankets the city.
“My message to all New Yorkers is to prepare for something worse than we have seen before.”
The US Weather Channel referred to the cold blast as a “possibly historic” winter storm that would likely result in flight cancellations, delays and possible airport closures late Monday to Tuesday.
“Take every precaution, now is the time to get ready for this extreme weather,” de Blasio said. “Don’t underestimate the storm.”
The National Weather Service said the stage was set for a major “nor’easter” storm that would affect parts of the region from Monday to Wednesday.
“This system will be responsible for heavy snowfall and strong winds, with blizzard conditions possible along coastal areas from New Jersey to Massachusetts,” the weather service said.
Blizzard warnings were in effect along the coast from central New Jersey to the Canadian border.
Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, meanwhile, were already preparing for the system, USA Today reported.
People were scrambling to pick up storm staples such as shovels, road salt and ice scrapers.
In downtown Manhattan, an employee at a Home Depot hardware store crammed with pre-storm shoppers shot and killed his boss before turning the gun on himself, police said. The motive was not immediately clear.
“With a major winter storm approaching the state, I urge New Yorkers to take all necessary precautions and make preparations for the possibility that commutes will be disrupted on Monday and Tuesday,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
New York city-area Port Authority employees have been ordered to work 12-hour shift starting on Monday to prepare for the onslaught, he added.
Six to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of accumulation were possible for the US state of New Jersey up to eastern Massachusetts, the weather service said.
Four to eight inches were expected further south in parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Ahead of the weekend’s heavy snow, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called on people in the city to try to be helpful to each other.