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Blizzard Death Toll Rises To At Least 45

A historic winter storm pummeled the Mid-Atlantic, burying parts of the nation in two feet of snow and triggering emergency declarations from Virginia to New Jersey. The storm became the second largest ever in New York City.

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Updated on

What We Know So Far

  • A powerful winter storm battered the East Coast with heavy snow, wind, and coastal flooding.
  • At least 45 people died in storm-related accidents, including car crashes, hypothermia, and cardiac arrest while shoveling snow.
  • In New York City's Central Park, 26.8 inches of snow accumulated Saturday, making the storm the second largest on record in the city.
  • More than two feet of snow fell in other parts of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • States of emergency were declared in New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and New York City area.
  • More than 7,000 U.S. flights were canceled for Friday and Saturday due to the storm.

Updates

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Federal government offices in Washington D.C. will remain closed on Tuesday.

01/26 DC area Fed offices closed.Emergency & telework-ready employees follow agency policies https://t.co/xZnAHqggkV

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said only emergency employees or those who work remotely would be working.

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Death toll rises to 45

The latest figures from the Associated Press:

* Delaware: 1
* Kentucky: 2
* Maryland: 3
* New Jersey: 3
* New York: 5
* North Carolina: 6
* Ohio: 1
* Pennsylvania: 8
* South Carolina: 4
* Tennessee: 2
* Virginia 9
* Washington, D.C.: 1

Briahna Gerloff was found collapsed in her Pennsylvania home by a family member, Pottstown Police Capt. Robert Thomas told BuzzFeed News.

The family member found the teen about 45 minutes after she finished shoveling snow outside. Police and medical personnel were called to the scene around 9:15 a.m, but couldn't save her or her unborn child.

For the full story, go here.

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Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city is still in a state of emergency and urged people to stay off the roads.

Bowser said there are "several days of clean up ahead of us." She said the city has made a lot of progress on making major streets and arteries passable.

All metro stations in D.C. with the exception of one will be open starting at 11 a.m., the mayor said.

Starting today at 11:00 am, all @wmata rail stations in the District except Benning Rd will be open with limited operations.

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More than 1,500 flights were canceled Monday as the East Coast continued to dig out from the storm. According to data from FlightAware.com, as of 8:10 a.m., 1,548 flights were canceled and another 2,146 flights were experiencing delays.

Newark Airport in New Jersey was the leader with 242 cancelations, followed by New York's LaGuardia Airport, which had 143 cancelations. In addition to the New York City area airports, both Washington, D.C., airports had significant cancelations with 127 flights grounded out of Dulles Airport and 113 out of Reagan Airport.

Reagan Airport does have limited numbers of flights operating Monday and had tweeted at 6:38 a.m. that the first flights of the day had landed and taken off.

Our first arrival since #blizzard2016 just came in and our first departure is going out. Whew, what a weekend! #FlyReagan

Dulles Airport also welcomed its first flight Monday morning on a still snowy runway.

Good morning @CopaAirlines! We warmly welcome our first arrival since #blizzard2016! #FlyDulles

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Death toll from winter storm rises to at least 30.

The death toll figures have been compiled here by the Associate Press. The deaths related to the storm have mostly been from car accidents, heart attacks while shoveling snow, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Kentucky: 2
  • Maryland: 2
  • New Jersey: 2
  • New York: 4
  • North Carolina: 6
  • Ohio: 1
  • Pennsylvania: 1
  • Tennessee: 2
  • Virginia: 5
  • Washington, D.C.: 1
  • Delaware: 1
  • South Carolina: 3
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Aerial footage from the New York Police Department shows how the city looks after the snowstorm:

buzzfeed-video1.s3.amazonaws.com
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Awesome view from space today of snow-blasted NYC after the blizzard https://t.co/R2YcFNLNul

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Virginia governor shuts state government on Monday

Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announces no state government Monday during press conference https://t.co/OHmzZX4wPY

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Latest state-by-state death toll via the Associated Press:

* Kentucky: 2
* Maryland: 3
* New Jersey: 2
* New York: 3
* North Carolina: 6
* Ohio: 1
* Pennsylvania: 1
* Tennessee: 2
* Virginia: 5
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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday his state will seek federal disaster aid as they attempt to dig out from the historic blizzard.

Hogan told reporters an entire season's snow fell in just two days across the state, according to the Baltimore Sun.

"Recovery efforts from this historic storm will be extensive, they will take time and patience," he said.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday praised the efforts of city workers in clearing streets of masses of snow overnight, but said more still needed to be done.

"Sanitation did an outstanding, extraordinary job with major streets," the mayor told reporters at a press conference. He said secondary and tertiary streets received less attention, however, and called for residents to remain off the road again today so city workers could clear streets with more ease.

The mayor said efforts would today be concentrated in Queens, an area that received less attention on Saturday. Some 850 plows and equipment were in the borough alone, city officials said, with 700 laborers also called in to help clear bus stops and cross walks.

At 7 a.m. bus services began to be restored across the city, de Blasio said, while some above ground subway trains began running again at 9 a.m.

Alternate side parking rules would be suspended until Friday the mayor said.

Schools would also be open on Monday.

Police said they issued 25 summonses to people for flouting the travel ban put in effect, including one to a man who they said was driving drunk after the travel ban and who ran two red lights at high speed.

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Washington, D.C., public schools will be closed on Monday due to the blizzard cleanup, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Sunday.

Bowser and other officials also encouraged "pedestrians and vehicles" to stay off of the roads so crews could clear the roads.

"Two feet of snow, this is a major operation," Christopher Geldart, the director of D.C.'s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said.

The city will receive more equipment on Sunday to help with the snow-clearing effort. Bowser said she encourages all residents to shovel to help the city dig out from the storm.

"It's a longer operation; we are working hard and we are going to do everything we can to get this city back as soon as possible," Geldart said.

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After the snow forced the closure of the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road, New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Sunday some services would resume at noon.

From midday, Metro-North trains will begin operating out of Grand Central Terminal, which had been eerily quiet on Saturday. Normal Sunday services are expected to be in operation by 3 p.m., the MTA said.

"Crews continue to dig out the infrastructure, especially in the Bronx, as they clear snow from our tracks, switches, train yards and stations," the MTA said in a statement. "Also, employees are checking signals, switches and power systems, which have to be operational before resuming service."

LIRR trains, however, remained suspended until further notice.

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After more than a day of extremely heavy snow, much of the East Coast awoke Sunday to blue skies.

Further down the Mid-Atlantic Coast, New Jersey was also battered by the storm.

Andrew Renneisen / Getty Images

Waves crash near a broken pier in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, on Sunday.

In the nation's capital, crews worked through the night to clear highways, including the I-395, with the D.C. mayor saying Sunday that the goal was to make major roads passable.

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Baltimore officials have also lifted the emergency travel ban for the city, but some restrictions remain in place.

The Baltimore City Department of Transportation said in a news release the so-called Phase III ban was lifted at 6 a.m. Sunday. The ban had prohibited all travel in the city except for emergency vehicles. Officials continued to urge residents who didn't need to go out to stay off the roads.

The city's Phase II plan remains in effect, meaning all vehicles venturing out on city roads must have "all weather radial tires or snow chains, and parking is restricted along designated snow emergency routes."

The city is continuing to offer free parking for residents in city garages on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The National Weather Service said on its Weather Prediction Center website early Sunday more than a foot of snow had fallen in Baltimore — 16 inches, to be exact.

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New York's governor has announced the travel ban he enacted during the blizzard yesterday has now been lifted.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday the ban barring nonemergency motorists from being on the roads was lifted at 7 a.m ET.

The travel ban had applied all state and local roads in New York City, the Long Island Expressway, Long Island's Northern State Parkway, and the Port Authority's Hudson River crossings.

The governor said full service to the above-ground portions of the Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road, and city subway systems would be restored gradually throughout Sunday, AP reported.

Cuomo said the MTA would also restore bus, subway, and regional railroad service as conditions eased throughout the day.

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Time-lapse video shows the incredible amount of snow that fell during the blizzard

Ryan McElhenny filmed this mesmerising video over his back deck in Purcellville,Virginia, in Virginia at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

By 2 p.m. Saturday, McElhenny's back deck had completely disappeared under the dense layer of snow.

The full time-lapse video was filmed over 24 hours. Watch it here.

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Flights continue to be canceled into Monday

Despite the blizzard easing in many areas, airlines have begun to cut Monday services as the aftermath of the snowstorm is expected to carry over into the working week.

Flight cancelations for Monday for all airlines stood at 615 as of early Sunday morning, but FlightAware said that is sure to rise, AP reported.

The bulk of Saturday's 4,459 cancelations were at airports in the New York City and Washington, D.C., metro areas, according to flight tracking service FlightAware. Another 2,467 flights were canceled for Sunday, with the count still rising.

United Airlines announced it would not operate out of airports in the Washington area on Sunday. Service should gradually resume Monday, the airline said. "Very limited" service would restart Sunday afternoon at airports in the New York City area.

Since Friday, the number of cancelled flights has topped 10,000. Cancelations have centered on Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina, as well as Philadelphia, Washington, and New York.

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Blizzard becomes second largest snowstorm ever in New York City

As of midnight Sunday, 26.8 inches of snow had accumulated in New York City's Central Park, the National Weather Service reported. That total made it the second biggest storm since 1869, when record keeping began. The blizzard also came within a 10th of an inch of tying New York City's biggest storm ever, which came in 2006.

Elsewhere across the East Coast, the storm was causing havoc late Saturday and early Sunday. In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan closed a section of freeway to all nonemergency vehicles.

The closure was expected to end early Sunday morning along with similar travel bans in New York state.

In Pennsylvania, National Guard members helped dig out a Duquesne University men's basketball team after it became stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Associated Press reported.

And in the Washington, D.C., area airports were expected to remain closed through Sunday, further complicating a snarled transportation system that saw thousands of flights canceled across the region.

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New York City area travel ban to end Sunday morning

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday night that a travel ban imposed in the face of a massive blizzard would end Sunday morning at 7 a.m. The ban limited road usage to emergency vehicles only and covered New York City, the Long Island Expressway, and other roads in the region.

Some bus service — which also was canceled as the storm blanketed New York — was expected to resume Sunday morning as well.

Cuomo also announced that some flights would likely resume by midday Sunday.

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Storm death toll rises to 17

The death toll from the massive storm pummeling the East Coast rose to 17 Saturday. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday three people had died across two boroughs while shoveling snow.

NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill also said the deaths were related to shoveling, PIX 11 reported, and urged people to seek help while clearing snow.

"As the mayor said, don't overexert yourself, please hire someone to do it for you," O'Neill said. "If you have a good neighbor, maybe ask the good neighbor to come over and help you do what you need to do."

Two people also died in Virginia from hypothermia, an official with the Chief Medical Examiner's Office told the Associated Press.

As Saturday night wore on, the storm continued dumping massive amounts of snow across the East Coast. In New York City, it grew to become the third largest on record, with snowfall totals approaching a record that was set in 2006.

The NWS reported that 25 inches of snow fell in Central Park, and more than 27 inches accumulated at JFK Airport.

The snowfall at Central Park is 25.1" which is the 3rd greatest in NYC since 1869. Snow cont. to fall. Record is 26.9" Feb 11-12 2006.

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Driving ban extended in NYC as snowfall totals rise

Snowfall totals continued rising in New York City Saturday evening as Mayor Bill de Blasio extended a ban on driving and urged residents to stay at home.

According to the National Weather Service, more than 20 inches of snow had fallen at JFK Airport as of early Saturday evening. In a news conference, de Blasio also said more than 19 inches had fallen in Central Park, but added that those numbers were from 4 p.m. and the actual total was likely higher.

#Blizzard2016 snowfall accumulations at Eastern US climate stations as of 5:30 pm. #nywx #pawx #mdwx #njwx #vawx

In response to the accumulating snow, de Blasio extended a travel ban barring all nonemergency vehicles from New York City streets.

"The NYPD will take any measures necessary to keep our roads clear," de Blasio said. "If you want to avoid these enforcement actions get off the streets now."

The ban on driving was extended to early Saturday morning, though de Blasio did not say when exactly it would end.

We have check points in Manhattan, too. Get off the road. It's for everyone's safety. #blizzard2016

Elsewhere on the East Coast, cities were hammered with even more snow. As of 5:30 p.m., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, had been blanketed in 28.6 inches; Washington, D.C., had received 27 inches; and Newark, New Jersey, was covered in 21.6 inches.

During his press conference, de Blasio called the storm "quite striking."

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The death toll from snow storm-related fatalities jumped to at least 12 on Saturday afternoon as deaths were reported in Kentucky and North Carolina.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Michael Baker told the AP that a driver died after she lost control of her car and hit a tree in Hickory. Five other people have already died on the state's roads since the storm began, including a 4-year-old boy.

Also on Saturday, a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet employee died while plowing highways in Christian County, authorities announced on Facebook.

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NYC Mayor visits Coney Island to survey potential for coastal flooding

Facebook: video.php

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio called the flooding situation "very moderate," and cited the National Weather Service's estimation that tides projected for the evening will not surpass no three and a half feet.

He noted that NYPD will enforce the 2:30 p.m. travel ban he authorized earlier in the afternoon.

The eight-minute video shows De Blasio accompanied by several members of the emergency response team assessing the tide.

Earlier in the afternoon, De Blasio announced that more than 20 inches of snow is expected to accumulate, making it one of the biggest snowstorms in New York City's history dating back to 1869.

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Power outages continue to affect thousands of homes and businesses in North Carolina, with as many as 147,000 buildings without electricity as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Weather Channel.

North Carolina Highway Patrol has responded to more than 2,000 car accidents since the storm began, a local ABC affiliate reported.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory urged residents to stay at home during a press conference Saturday afternoon, despite the college basketball game between Duke and North Carolina State.

"We do not want you to go to the game," he said "I don't want you to be there."

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Due to the travel ban in New York City, Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League trade association, announced that all matinees and evening shows would be cancelled on Saturday.

"Now that the snowstorm has arrived, I'd like to reiterate that the safety and security of theatregoers and employees is everyone's primary concern," St. Martin said in a statement on their website. "We expect normal operations to resume for tomorrow's Sunday matinees."

All Broadway matinee & evening performances in NYC for Saturday January 23rd are canceled. Visit https://t.co/gF1zlOjsj4 for full statement.

Depending on how the tickets are purchased, refunds or exchanges are usually possible for all events canceled due to weather.

Ticketmaster automatically issues refunds, including all fees (with some exceptions), it says on its website, as does StubHub.

Broadway.com says they "will only be able to refund your tickets because of bad weather if the producers of the show make the decision to cancel your performance. Otherwise, no refunds will be possible."

New York Show Tickets' policy reads: "In the extreme case where the New York City Mayor issues a weather emergency and the Broadway League announces a mass Broadway show closure, then all Broadway show tickets are usually automatically cancelled. In this case all tickets are automatically refunded."

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New York Governor suspends all road travel after 2:30 p.m. Saturday, and suspends external subway lines after 4 p.m.

Above-ground exterior @MTA subways are icing over. 4pm will be last train on inbound or outbound on exterior subway routes. #Blizzard2016

Public safety is job 1. Road travel ban will commence as of 2:30pm in the downstate area, in an orderly way so people can get home.

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As the Nor'easter snowstorm continues to hit the tristate area, all flights going in or out at LaGuardia, JFK, Newark, Atlantic City, or Teterboro airports have been cancelled or suspended, Port Authority announced Saturday afternoon.

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A resident of Fort Washington, Maryland, died while shoveling snow Saturday morning, spokesperson for Prince George's Fire Department Mark Brady announced via Twitter.

Brady said the reported death came moments after the department reissued a warning about the dangers of shoveling and heart attacks.

Every winter about 100 people in the U.S. die of heart attacks while shoveling snow, Cardiologist Lawrence Phillips told the Washington Post.

"Physically, what happens when you get really cold is you have constriction of the blood vessels," said Phillips. "It decreases the blood supply you're getting to your vital organs."

If you have a history of heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, or are over 50 years old, experts say to stay away from snow shoveling.

Not only is the action itself a high level of exercise, but due to its "goal oriented" nature, Phillips said, many people just "don't think" about how the exercise is affecting them physically, the way they might at the gym.

The PGFD issued advice on their website about how to shovel responsibly.

"Use smaller shovels," the department advised, "perhaps a narrow shovel that will not allow you to pick up big amounts." They added that breathing in cold air can constrict your lungs, so wearing something that covers your mouth and nose is important.

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New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said on Saturday that this is "very likely one of the worst snowstorms in our history."

The mayor again encouraged city residents to keep off the roads and not to park near fire hydrants.

Kathryn Garcia, the city's sanitation commissioner, announced that the department began plowing snow as early as 5 a.m. in Staten Island, which began receiving snowfall at 9:30 p.m. on Friday.

"We saw 1 to 2 inches very, very early, very, very fast," she said.

City Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro said that while there had been a few scattered fires between Friday night and Saturday morning, none resulted in serious injuries. He reminded residents not to place their space heaters near flammable objects.

Five ambulances have become stuck in the snow since the storm began last night, Nigro said.

The city has continued to reach out to homeless communities, and has offered transportation services to shelters for 32 people, according to NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill. Seven so far have been transported to hospitals in the wake of the storm.

Mayor De Blasio said this is "very likely one of the worst snowstorms in our history."

When asked to advise families with children who may wish to go out and play in the snow, he said, "I wouldn't let my kids out of my sight."

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an official declaration of a state of emergency for New York City as well as Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam Counties Saturday, as the storm continued to move up the East Coast.

"This is a major storm, and travel conditions throughout downstate New York are dangerous," said Governor Cuomo.

The governor deployed emergency operational resources, including the Division of Homeland Security, who are working to keep New York airports functional, his office announced in a statement. The National Guard is on standby to help.

"We are doing everything possible to keep the roads and mass transit operational, but unless there is an emergency people should not be traveling," he continued. "I urge all New Yorkers to stay home, stay warm, and allow our emergency personnel to do their jobs.

The storm is predicted by the National Weather Service to bring 18 to 24 inches of snow by Sunday, but had already reached half of those predictions in some areas of New York by Saturday morning.

All busses in the region have been suspended, though subways continue to "run normally" "curtailed service as a possibility."

11:05a: We updated our snowfall forecast for this #WinterStorm. Heavy snow bands continue to develop through the day

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New York City suspended all public bus transport

.@MTA is suspending all NYC bus service beginning at Noon this morning. Go to https://t.co/TacCnDFyNi for real-time info & service updates.

The suspension will begin at 12 PM, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced via twitter. It includes all bus service throughout al five boroughs.

The National Weather Service announced that at 9 AM the snowfall in lower Manhattan was up to 10 inches and in Brooklyn was up to 9 inches.

CORRECTION

All bus service has been suspended in NYC. A previous version of this update stated that bus and subway service had been suspended.

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40,000 without power in New Jersey

Utility companies in New Jersey are reporting nearly 40,000 customers are without power, with most of those affected along the coast.

Atlantic City Electric was hardest hit with more than 32,000 households without power. The outages stretch from Barnegat Beach south to Cape May, and as far west as Mantua, AP reported.

First Energy, Jersey Central Power & Light, is reporting more than 7,600 customers without power along the coast from north of West Long Branch south to near Barnegat Light.

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Blizzard brings traffic to a standstill in Kentucky

In Kentucky, traffic is backed up for about 35 miles southbound on the Interstate 75. Motorists are at a standstill from mile marker 76 to mile marker 40, state trooper Kendra Wilson told CNN.

Kentucky State Police say emergency shelters are being opened near two exits along Interstate 75 for motorists who've been stranded.

Officials told Kentucky television station WTVQ southbound traffic was being diverted to Exit 76 in Berea, while northbound traffic was being diverted to Exit 41 in London.

Storm causes 35-mile backup on southbound I-75 in Kentucky, state trooper told CNN. https://t.co/YaPguvrOOE

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Blizzard can be seen from space

Massive #snowstorm blanketing #EastCoast clearly visible from @Space_Station! Stay safe! #blizzard2016 #YearInSpace

Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this incredible view of the snowstorm hitting from the International Space Station Saturday morning.

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Blizzard warnings remain in place for much of the east

On Saturday morning, blizzard warnings remained in effect for eastern and coastal portions of the mid-Atlantic, from mountain areas in Virginia to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Long Island, New York, according to the National Weather Service's website.

Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories also remained in effect for a large area that extended from the Tennessee Valley to the Ohio Valley, and spanned from the Carolinas to southern New England. High wind warnings and watches are in effect for coastal regions in the mid-Atlantic and southern New England. Coastal flood warnings and watches are in effect from Virginia to Massachusetts.

Storm and gale warnings are in effect for mid-Atlantic and New England Coastal waters.

The latest update, issued at 4.54 a.m., warned residents "snow will develop from between 6 and 8 a.m." Saturday morning.

"Strong winds and blizzard conditions will occur this afternoon and evening. Snowfall rates may reach 1 to 2 inches an hour at times. Wind gusts to 55mph will combine with the heavy snow to produce whiteout conditions."

The NWS warned people in the blizzard warning area to stay indoors.

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Up to 18 inches of snow falling in some areas

The National Weather Service says 18 inches of snow have fallen on Ulysses in eastern Kentucky, while 16 inches fell in Beattyville overnight.

Between 14 inches to 15.5 inches had fallen in at other locations across Kentucky, including Frenchburg, Mount Vernon, Eglon and Lancer, AP reported.

And according to the NWS office in Mount Holly in New Jersey up to 12 inches of snow had fallen in Cape May County as of 2 a.m., while totals of eight inches were recorded in Queen Anne's County in Maryland.

Over in D.C., 11.5 inches of snow were recorded in Harrisonburg at around 3 a.m., while around 10 inches fell in Germantown and Baltimore.

9th st nw #dc @nbcwashington @OhMyGOFF @David_Culver @AdamTuss

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Near-whiteout conditions expected in Washington

The National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington devision says an "intense snow band" is now moving through the Baltimore-Washington metro area.

"Expect rapid accumulations and near-whiteout conditions."

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National Weather Service forecasters upped their snowfall forecast for America's most populated city Friday night, predicting up to two feet of snow in the city and a large portion of Long Island.

Strong winds of 30 to 40 mph, gusting to 55 mph were expected in the city, triggering a blizzard warning from New York City and later expanded to include all of coastal Connecticut.

Down the coast, the storm had left more than 146,000 customers without power in North Carolina as of 11 p.m.

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A man was killed Friday in Chesapeake, Virginia after his car slid off the snowy George Washington highway and struck a tree, Officer Leo Kosinski told the Associated Press. The death came in addition to 8 others blamed on the dangerous storm.

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The governor declared a state of emergency Friday evening as snowflakes began to fly in New Jersey and the National Weather Service issued blizzard and winter storm warnings.

At an evening press conference, Christie encouraged residents to stay off the roads until the storm was over.

"Be smart," he said. "Do not go out into the storm."

Bottom line: we will get through this storm. We always do. #Jonas

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A man in southeastern Kentucky died when his car crashed into a salt truck Thursday. Billy R. Stevens, 59, of Williamsburg, Kentucky, was pronounced dead at the scene on state Route 92 in Whitley County, the Associated Press reported.

Five people died in North Carolina, including a 4-year-old boy after the pickup truck carrying his family spun out of control and crashed near the town of Troutman on Friday. The Ford pickup slammed into a tow truck trying to haul out a vehicle that had run off the highway. Authorities said the boy died as a result of the impact.

A person injured in an accident in Wilkes County on Wednesday died and another motorist was killed Friday in a crash on Interstate 95 in Johnston County.

On Wednesday afternoon, a 60-year-old woman driving in Stokes County hit an "extremely icy" patch went down an embankment and turned over in a creek. Highway Patrol authorities said Mary Williams was killed in the accident.

In neighboring Forsyth County, Rosa McCollough-Leake, 55, died after she slid her vehicle on an icy roadway, crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a pickup truck head-on.

In Tennessee a driver was killed and a passenger injured after a car slid off the roadway due to speed and slick conditions. A couple's car plummeted down a 300-foot embankment after their vehicle slid off an icy road. Stacy Sherrill was killed in the crash and it took her husband several hours to climb the embankment and report the accident.

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Video shows heavy snow falling this evening at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

NEW: video of heavy #snow piling up on the Capitol in Washington DC lighting up the sky at sunset! @breakingweather

Watch a live stream of the snow falling in Washington from House Speaker Paul Ryan's balcony:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Read more about the speaker's unusual live camera here.

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Washington, D.C., officials said the city was prepared to face the blizzard and warned residents to get off the streets immediately.

The Old Guard / Via Twitter: @The_Old_Guard

A soldier guards the Tomb of the Unknowns as snow falls Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Christopher Geldart, director of the District of Columbia's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said plows would continue driving down streets to ensure emergency crews could get through.

"If you're not where you need to be please get there," Geldart said at a press conference. "This is a dangerous storm and it's coming fast."

Geldart also said they opened up more shelter space for people who are on the streets.

The fire and police officials don't expect to have many issues navigating the snow covered streets. For streets that were too narrow, firefighters would be using ATVs or humvees, if necessary.

"During the last storm we found that we were able to get to all calls for service," said Cathy Lanier, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. "It just makes it a little bit more difficult."

LaRuby May, D.C. councilwoman for ward eight, said her office and a team of volunteers were calling senior and disabled residents to make sure they didn't need anything.

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The National Weather Service on Friday afternoon boosted its forecast for the New York City area to about one foot of snow as the storm began tracking farther north than previously expected.

Forecasters said they expected "a very tight snowfall gradient on the north side of this storm with a very rapid drop-off in accumulations" with 8 to 10" to as little as 1 to 3" falling in just a 20 to 30-mile area.

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The National Weather Service has expanded blizzard warnings from northern Virginia to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, as the massive winter storm moves into the Northeast.

More than 2 feet of snow was expected in the Washington, D.C, and Baltimore areas, while 12-18 inches was forecast for New York City and Long Island.

A blizzard warning is issued when winds or frequent gusts over 35 mph are expected along with significant snow.

United Airlines announced it would be suspending all flights from Newark Airport on Saturday and planned to resume service on Sunday.

In total, airlines had cancelled more than 6,000 U.S. flights for Friday and Saturday, according to FlightAware, as the storm began to bear down on the East Coast.

Farther south, a rare phenomenon known as "thundersnow" was observed as the storm moved through Tennessee.

Thundersnow in Oak Hill - about 3" so far

Thundersnow occurs when a thunderstorm primarily produces snow instead of rain.

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Tonight's hockey game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Washington Capitals in D.C. has also been postponed.

Today's @AnaheimDucks/@washcaps game is postponed due to the severe snowstorm impacting the Washington, D.C., area.

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Two NBA games have been postponed due to the incoming storm.

Saturday's #BOSatPHI and #UTAatWAS have been postponed due to potential severe weather conditions in the Eastern United States.

The Boston Celtics, who were scheduled to face the Philadelphia 76ers at 7 p.m., announced that the game has been postponed.

Another evening game in Washington, D.C., where the Wizards were set to face the Utah Jazz at 5 p.m., has been rescheduled "due to the threat of severe weather in and around the area and the service changes announced yesterday by Metro."

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De Blasio announced Friday that the local winter weather warning will begin Saturday at 8 a.m., which is when the snowfall is expected to grow heavy.

Winds throughout the city are expected to reach 55 mph, and officials expect between 12 and 18 inches of snow early Saturday morning through Sunday.

The mayor also warned of snow-induced whiteouts, rendering it nearly impossible for drivers to see the road immediately in front of them.

The winter weather warning is expected to be in effect through Sunday, but De Blasio said the timeline could be adjusted depending on the storm's severity.

A local winter weather warning is less severe than a travel ban, but serves as an urgent reminder that drivers should avoid the roads whenever possible.

"It's less intense [than a travel ban], but still very, very serious," De Blasio said.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority and the state of will make the ultimate decision about public transportation, but "a lot of the subway system will be unaffected," De Blasio said.

The city's Emergency Management team will also operate on around the clock during the storm.

Kathryn Garcia, who heads the New York City Sanitation Department, said 314,000 tons of salt has been prepared to apply to streets on Sunday, or as soon as the storm ends.

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