Massive snowstorm brings East Coast to standstill

Jan 23, 2016, 12:38 PM EST
A snowstorm hits Washington D.C. in 2010.
Source: David Gaines/flickr

A winter storm dumped nearly 2 feet (58 cm) of snow on the suburbs of Washington, D.C., on Saturday before moving on to Philadelphia and New York, paralyzing road, rail and airline travel along the U.S. East Coast.

Reuters reports:

At least 10 states declared weather emergencies, aiming to get a handle on highways made impassable by the drifting snow and to shore up coastal areas where the blizzard conditions raised the danger of flooding. High winds battered the region, reaching 70 miles per hour in Wallops Island, Virginia, late on Friday, said meteorologist Greg Gallina of the National Weather Service. High tides washed through the streets of Jersey Shore towns, mixing with snow and pooling in driveways, televised images showed. Video footage on CNN showed water pouring into downtown Margate, New Jersey, near Atlantic City, an area still recovering from Superstorm Sandy three years ago.

The BBC writes:

The U.S. federal government closed down at noon on Friday. President Obama is remaining at the White House. The National Weather Service (NWS) warned that the worst of the snow would fall in the Washington area from the early hours of Saturday to the early afternoon, with winds of more than 50mph (80kph). In a warning at 02:17 (07:17 GMT), the NWS tweeted that an "intense snow band" was moving through the area. "Expect rapid accumulations and near-whiteout conditions," it warned. The most intense parts of the snowstorm are heading north towards New York state on Saturday.