(NEW YORK) — A fierce winter storm brought blizzard conditions and hurricane force winds as the anticipated snowstorm descended across much of the Northeast overnight.
The storm stretched from New Jersey to Maine, affecting more than 25 million people, with more than two feet of snow falling in areas of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy declared a state of emergency and closed all roads in the state. Overnight, snow fell at a rate of up to five to six inches per hour in parts of Connecticut.
In Milford, Conn. more than 38 inches of snow had fallen by Saturday morning.
“If you’re not an emergency personnel that’s required to be somewhere. Stay home,” said Malloy. In Fairfield, Conn. firefighters and police officers on the day shift were unable to make it to work, so the overnight shift remained on duty.
The wind and snow started affecting the region during the Friday night commute.
In Cumberland, Maine, the conditions led to a 19-car pile-up and in New York, hundreds of commuters were stranded on the snowy Long Island Expressway. Police were still working to free motorists early Saturday morning.
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In Boston, over two feet of snow had fallen by Saturday morning and the National Weather Service anticipated up to three feet of snow could fall by the end of the storm. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick enacted the first statewide driving ban since the 1978 blizzard, which left 27 inches of snow and killed dozens. The archdiocese told parishioners that according to church law the responsibility to attend mass “does not apply where there is grave difficulty in fulfilling obligation.”
In New York, a little more than 11 inches fell in the city.
By Saturday morning, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said nearly all of the primary roads had been plowed and the department of sanitation anticipated that all roads would be plowed by the end of the day.
“It looks like we dodged a bullet, but keep in mind winter is not over,” said Bloomberg.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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