(NEW YORK) — A blizzard set to strike the Northeast could bring more than two feet of snow to parts, along with strong winds.
A storm from the west will join forces with one from the south to form a nor’easter that will sit and spin just off the East Coast, affecting more than 43 million Americans. Wind gusts will reach 50 to 60 mph from Philadelphia to Boston.
“[It] could definitely be a historic winter storm for the Northeast,” Adrienne Leptich of the National Weather Service in Upton, N.Y., said. “We’re looking at very strong wind and heavy snow and we’re also looking for some coastal flooding.”
Airlines have started shutting down operations at major airports in the New York area and other Northeastern airports. More than 4,000 flights have been cancelled for Friday and Saturday, according to FlightAware. Airlines hope to resume flights by Saturday afternoon.
New York City is expecting up to 14 inches of snow, with the heaviest amounts falling at night and into Saturday.
Wind gusts of 55 mph are expected in New York City, and in Massachusetts, Cape Cod could possibly see 75 mph gusts.
Boston, Providence, R.I., Hartford, Conn., and other New England cities canceled school Friday. Boston and other parts of New England could see more than 2 feet of snow by Saturday.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon and announced a ban on all traffic from roads after 4 p.m.
Beach erosion and coastal flooding is possible from New Jersey to Long Island, N.Y., and into New England coastal areas. Some waves off the coast could reach more than 20 feet.
Blizzard warnings were posted for parts of New Jersey and New York’s Long Island, as well as portions of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The warnings extended into New Hampshire and Maine.
To the south, Philadelphia was looking at a possible 4 to 6 inches of snow.
Parts of New York, still reeling from October’s Superstorm Sandy, are still using tents and are worried how they will deal with the nor’easter. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said plows and 250,000 tons of salt were being put on standby.
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