Winter storm: weather threat leads to shutdown of government and schools in northeast

More than 60 million people are subject to winter weather warnings and local authorities have taken preventative measures to prepare the densely populated region, including closing government offices and ordering schools to close.

The forecast calls for up to 12 inches of snow in Boston, with 4 to 6 inches in Washington DC, 3 to 5 inches in New York and up to 4 inches in Philadelphia, according to CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford.

The winter conditions, coupled with the disruption associated with Covid-19, have caused enormous headaches for air travelers. More than 2,200 flights have already been canceled on Friday, according to flightaware.com.

In Connecticut, all executive office buildings will be closed Friday and non-essential employees are encouraged to work remotely.

“This appears to be a major winter storm that’s about to impact our state, with snowfall expected to reach rates of over an inch per hour causing whiteout conditions and occurring just at most. strong morning rush hour, ”Governor Ned Lamont said. said in a statement.

He warned people not to venture onto the roads if possible.

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New York City has activated its winter weather plan with 330,000 tons of salt, more than 700 salt spreaders and more than 1,600 snow-clearing vehicles on standby, while neighboring New Jersey declared a state of emergency.

The combination of snow and wind could lead to power outages due to falling power lines, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has warned. He encouraged people to work remotely if possible, as the storm would likely make travel dangerous.

3,900 pieces of equipment ready for snow operations

In Massachusetts, officials are asking non-emergency state employees not to report to work on Friday.

About 3,900 pieces of state and supplier equipment are available for snow and ice operations, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation said, including snow plows, spreader sets and front loaders. , and he plans to deploy about 2,500 pieces of equipment for this storm.

All Boston public schools will be closed Friday “due to bad weather,” the city said.

Schools in the region are already facing a serious staff shortage, although it is not known how many are linked to Covid.

In Virginia, the National Guard is on call to help with emergency management as the state faces its second winter storm this week, according to Virginia Army and Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Tim Williams.

And Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency.

The upcoming storm will be smaller but will hit areas similar to the storm in Virginia earlier in the week, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Orrock.

“Overall we will see three to four inches with isolated amounts, 4 to 6 inches in the higher elevations, and at the very highs we could see 6 to 8 inches,” Orrock said, adding a potential for more snow with “up 5 to 6 inches above the I-95 corridor.”

Federal government offices and public schools in Washington DC will be closed on Friday.

Some Covid-19 vaccination and testing sites will be open, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said, but winter conditions are impacting testing and vaccination sites in Maryland and Virginia.

The Maryland Department of Health will delay opening hours at various locations on Friday, and five of Virginia’s community vaccination centers will be closed due to inclement weather, the state Department of Health said.

Kentucky declares state of emergency

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency following heavy snowfall across the state on Thursday. And the state national guard has been activated on all interstate closures.

“Severe weather conditions are affecting travel on major highways, state and local roads, as well as power outages and damage to public infrastructure and private property,” Beshear said in a statement.

He urged people to stay off the roads if possible and added that the Red Cross is monitoring the need for warming centers and search and rescue teams have already been activated for security checks on stranded motorists. .

Winter weather in Kentucky brings roads to a halt as authorities work to clear stack with more than 20 vehicles
The weather caused a pile-up of several cars on the Western Kentucky Parkway on Thursday.

State Police Public Information Officer Scotty Sharp said the only injuries were minor and not life threatening.

CNN’s Robert Shackelford, Dave Alsup, Mary Kay Mallonee, Brian Vitagliano, Elizabeth Joseph, Sahar Akbarzai, Jaide Timm-Garcia, Amy Simonson and Jessica Jordan contributed to this report.

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