An Area-By-Area Lowdown On Snowstorm Hercules In The Northeast
Snowstorm Hercules has struck the Northeast with some very un-Disneylike behavior. It's dumped up to two feet in snow in some areas, and the blizzard has kept residents housebound by shutting down roads, public transport, and airports: 3,900 flights were been canceled Thursday and Friday. At least eleven people have been killed by the storm so far, and more than 100 million — a third of the country — have been affected.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency before the worst weather even hit, shutting down the Thruway, the Long Island Expressway, and Interstate 84 overnight before reopening them this morning before the commute.
"This is nothing to be trifled with,” Cuomo declared in a conference call with reporters. “We have learned too well over the past years the power of Mother Nature.”
Areas near Rochester received around 18 inches of snow.
Power doesn't seem to have been terribly affected for the state, but one woman with Alzheimer's in the western area of the state tragically froze to death near her home after wandering outside.
Manhattan was hit with 25 mph winds and six to 11 inches of snow.
To start his third day in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio could be found shoveling the sidewalk in front of his Park Slope house. Although he kept throwing the snow on the path in front of him, so either he's really bad at it or it was a press op.
However, sanitation efforts were compromised with no garbage pickup until the roads were clear. "I think the city agencies are doing a hell of a job [with the storm]," noted de Blasio. "I especially want to thank the Sanitation Department… The minute it was time to roll out the plows, there were 1,700 trucks out. It’s been an incredible effort.”
However, Queens had their feelings hurt because they are "always the last" to get bailed out in their "forgotten area." D'aw.
Brooklyn and Queens received snow that turned into ice by morning. JFK shut down around 6:15 a.m. as workers tried to clear runways, but managed to re-open at 9:30 EST with a single runway. LaGuardia was also closed after one plane taking off for West Palm Beach had an engine freeze and had to make an emergency landing at JFK.
Meanwhile, much of the city's public transit was running on relaxed schedules.
New Jersey wasn't faring much better, transportation-wise, although Newark Airport remained open to shelter the huddled travelling masses.
In the upper Northeast, recently powered up again after an ice storm over Christmas, residents were dealing with arctic conditions: Burlington, Vt., had a windchill of -29.
The central Northeast, including Massachusetts and Pennsylvania saw their brunt of the storm. Near Philadelphia, a 100-foot-tall pile of road salt fell on a worker and crushed him to death.
The Midwest, from where the storm blew in, didn't get away scot-free today, either: Part of the storm's death toll involves casualties from traffic accidents that took place in Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois.
Temperatures remained low, and Chicago was hit with 17 inches of snow in some places.
The worst isn't over yet, though: As soon as the blizzard moves out, arctic winds from the North Pole are due to sweep in, making snow good and icy. Wind chill advisories cover 32 states at the moment, as the cold is beginning to descend, gusting as far south as Central America.
Two bursts in five days will keep everyone chilly, and temperatures are expected to drop as low as 15 degrees.