A powerful winter slammed the Northeast on Saturday, unleashing heavy snow, strong winds and blizzard conditions. Millions along the East Coast faced between one and two feet of snow — or more.
"The combination of heavy snow rates and strong winds will produce dangerous blizzard conditions across portions of the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts, from Virginia's Eastern Shore to eastern Maine, where Blizzard Warnings are in effect," the National Weather Service said. "Travel in these areas will be nearly impossible today due to whiteout conditions."
Tens of thousands of power outages have been reported in Massachusetts, and Boston saw its seventh highest snowfall in the city's recorded history. More than 3,500 U.S. flights were canceled Saturday and one NHL game has been postponed due to the weather.
What to expect from the growing Nor'easter
Boston gets nearly 2 feet of snow
A total of 23.5 inches of snow was recorded at Boston Logan International Airport on Saturday, the second highest total ever in the month of January, CBS Boston reports. The weekend storm became the seveth biggest in Boston's recorded history.
The record was set in February 2003, when 27.6 inches of snow fell on the city.
Multiple tractor-trailer accidents on snowy I-95
Multiple tractor-trailers overturned in accidents on Interstate 95 in New York on Saturday morning, according to CBS New York. In Westchester County, all lanes between Exits 16 and 17 were closed due to a crash involving two tractor-trailers before later reopening and clearing the crash site, New York State Police said on Twitter.
One tractor-trailer skidded off the road, jacknifed and overturned. Another truck that was approaching the first tractor-trailer also overturned as it approached the scene. One person was injured in the crash.
Roughly 20 minutes later, a third truck jacknifed one exit away. Nobody was inured in that incident.
Police advised residents to avoid unnecessary travel during the storm "until the snow stops and roads are clear."
"Be safe," police said.
Elderly man dies after falling into swimming pool while shoveling snow
An elderly man has died in New York after police found him unconscious in a swimming pool Saturday, according to the Southold Police Department. The man, who has not been named, fell into the pool while shoveling snow.
At around 8:30 a.m. local time, police responded to a 911 call regarding the man. Authorities began to administer CPR to the man, who was unconscious, upon pulling him out of the swimming pool at the scene, they said.
The man was transported to Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Delta Airlines provides fee waivers to travelers impacted by storm
Delta Airlines has extended travel waivers to flyers impacted by the winter storm. The airline has cancelled more than 450 flights Saturday, according to FlightAware.
"With this, the fare difference for customers will be waived when rebooked travel occurs on or before Feb. 2, 2022, in the same cabin of service as originally booked," Delta said in a statement. "Any difference in fare between the original ticket and the new ticket will be collected at the time of booking."
If travelers aren't able to reschedule within the waiver's guidelines, Delta said they can cancel their reservation and apply any of the ticket's unused value toward buying a new one any time within a year from the original purchase.
The waiver applies to flights traveling into or out of 28 airports throughout the East Coast, stretching from South Carolina up to Maine.
Snowfall accumulation in certain cities already exceeds two feet
By 5:00 p.m. EST, some cities across the East Coast had already reported more than 24 inches of snow, the National Weather Service said. And peak wind gusts in some areas climbed to 60 mph by 1:45.
Long Island still getting slammed with snow
Long Island is getting hit hard by the Nor'easter, with heavy snow and high winds creating blizzard conditions. New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the storm "very serious," adding, "this could be life-threatening," CBS New York reports.
A blizzard warning remains in effect for Suffolk County until 7 p.m. Saturday.
"Tonight, we are expecting that we will have wind chills below zero. As we work to get the snow off the roadways, as the snow continues to fall through the evening, those temperatures will help lock in ice and snow that is on the ground," County Executive Steve Bellone said. "That will create hazardous conditions through the night and tomorrow, as well."
Suffolk County Police say they have responded to at least 60 crashes.
Jersey Shore "is getting clobbered"
New Jersey is under a state of emergency for this weekend's storm, and blizzard conditions have been confirmed on the Jersey Shore.
"It's a statewide event without question, but the Shore is getting clobbered," New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy told CBS New York. "It's coming down heavy, and the winds are gusting, in some cases, over 50 miles an hour."
The governor urged people to "stay home, stay inside."
Newark airport: More than 85% of flights canceled
Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey said late Saturday morning that more than 85% of the day's flights have been canceled so far. It urged travelers to check their flight status before leaving for the airport.
At John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, more than 76% of flights on Saturday were canceled.
Overall, more than 3,530 U.S. flights have been canceled for the day, and over 700 have been delayed, according to FlightAware.
"All the elements of a classic Nor'easter"
New York state is seeing high winds, heavy snow and blizzard conditions — "all the elements of a classic Nor'easter," Governor Kathy Hochul said Saturday at a storm briefing.
The storm is continuing to pick up in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, but isn't expected to last long.
"The good news is that we know the timing of this, and it will abate over the next few hours," she said. "This should not be a sustained storm."
The latest projections show that Nassau and Suffolk counties are being hit the hardest, she said. They had about 7-11 inches of snow as of mid-morning, and Long Island is expected to see another 5-12 inches until about 6 p.m. Saturday.
Rhode Island governor announces bridge closures
Rhode Island's governor said Saturday several bridges were closing due to the storm.
"Due to dangerous conditions, the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, the Mount Hope Bridge, the Newport Pell Bridge and the Sakonnet River Bridge are closed until further notice," said Governor Dan McKee.
A travel ban is in place on all roads across the state from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. The ban extends to 11:59 p.m. for motorcycles and tractor-trailers.
Over 114,000 without power in Massachusetts
More than 114,000 customers were without power in Massachusetts as of 10 a.m. Saturday, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
The number of outages had been rising all morning and jumped from 40,000 to 84,000 in a matter of minutes around 9 a.m.
Wind gusts as strong as 60-75 mph are forecasted for along the immediate coastline. Over 18″ of snow is predicted to fall in bands over in Bristol and Plymouth counties, up through Boston and Cape Ann, and western Middlesex County and Worcester County, CBS Boston reports.
Atlantic City, N.J. sees flooding, "brutal" conditions
Authorities in Atlantic City, New Jersey, are urging residents to stay off the streets due to blizzard conditions and flooding reports. Police said conditions in the area are "brutal and dangerous."
"Do not make it harder on our first responders by venturing out! Stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary!" the city's police department tweeted.
Over a foot of snow has already accumulated.
More than 79,000 power outages in Massachusetts
More than 79,000 power outages were reported Saturday morning in Massachusetts, according to poweroutage.us.
Most of them were in Barnstable County on Cape Code. Thousands of others were reported in Plymouth and Bristol counties.
New York City buried in snow
New York City was covered in snow Saturday morning. It is mostly expected to get 8 to 12 inches of snow, with as much as 18 inches in some areas, according to forecasters.
Queens is expected to get hit with the most snow out of the five boroughs.
The city has launched a major effort to try and keep the streets clear during the Nor'easter. To prepare, the Department of Sanitation started pretreating 700 miles of city roads two days ago. They have 280,000 tons of salt, along with 1,800 plows and 700 salt spreaders at their disposal, CBS New York reports.
Because the snow coupled with high wind speeds can cause blizzard-like conditions, outdoor dining has been suspended. Vaccine appointments at city run sites for Saturday have been rescheduled for Sunday.
"Look after your neighbors, and that includes checking in on them, shoveling snow if need be to make sure they get the support, particularly our seniors," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Friday.
The mayor encouraged people to use public transportation, because of poor visibility on the roads will be. Officials have asked those who don't have to go out to stay home.
Snow and wind cause near-whiteout conditions on Long Island
Parts of New York are in a state of emergency, with Long Island getting hit especially hard by the storm. In Riverhead in Suffolk County, snow and wind made for near-whiteout conditions early Saturday morning, CBS New York reports.
It snowed for several hours overnight, but the flakes were small and the accumulation was slow. Once 11:30 p.m. hit, snowfall rpicked up and has been hammering down ever since.
Suffolk County has nearly 200 snow plows and sand trucks, but it has to be hard to keep up with the downpour.
More than 12 inches of snow expected in Northeast
Much of the Northeast coast is forecast to see more than 12 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. Some areas in eastern Massachusetts, including the Boston area, could see more than 24 inches.
Snow in Massachusetts is expected to increase in intensity Saturday morning, continuing until late afternoon. Winds will also increase, with near-hurricane force gusts across Cape Cod, say forecasters.
Full-on winter blast hits Boston
In Boston, what started out Friday night as light snow turned into a full-on winter blast overnight, with the heaviest snow likely still to come Saturday, Mola Lenghi reports for "CBS Saturday Morning." Up to 30 inches could fall in parts of Massachusetts, making this one of the biggest snowstorms on record.
Boston's mayor issued a snow emergency on Friday starting at 9 p.m.
"You can expect between 18-24 inches of snow & winds as high as 50 MPH," Mayor Michelle Wu tweeted. "Residents are encouraged to stay home & ride @MBTA if travel is necessary."
The last time the Boston area saw blizzard conditions was nearly four years ago, in March 2018, according to CBS Boston. The last time Boston had 2 feet of snow in one storm was seven years ago.