After major snowfall, US Northeast braces for deep freeze

After major snowfall, US Northeast braces for deep freeze

After major snowfall, US Northeast braces for deep freeze

Thousands of flights were canceled, firefighters scrambled to rescue motorists from flooded streets in Boston, snow plows and salt trucks rumbled along roads and highways, and New York City's two main airports halted flights due to whiteout conditions.

Commuters who braved the storm in the morning anxious that they could be stranded during the storm's peak expected later in the day.

Schools were ordered closed in NY, many parts of New Jersey, Boston and elsewhere throughout the region. From Carolinas to Maine.

Blizzard warnings were in place along the coast from North Carolina to ME, with the National Weather Service forecasting winds as high as 115km/h that may bring down tree limbs and knock out power.

Nearly 80,000 homes and businesses in the Northeast and Southeast, where the storm struck on Wednesday, were without power.

Up to 46cm of snow was forecast for Boston and coastal areas of northern New England.

National Guard troops were mobilised across the northeast as officials fear the fast-dropping temperatures after the storm will turn snow on roadways to ice.

One observer said water had cut through a barrier island in Chatham, flooded up to a condominium complex's doors and caused several cars to float.

The flooding tied a 40-year record, the National Weather Service said. Boston Fire Department officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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On Thursday, heavy snowfall, glacial temperatures and high winds sparked by a "bomb cyclone" storm had combined to force the cancellation of some 4,300 flights, while another 3,500 were delayed. The phenomenon occurs when a storm's barometric pressure drops by 24 millibars in 24 hours.

The wintry weather has been blamed for at least 14 deaths in the past few days, including four fatalities in North Carolina traffic accidents and three in Texas due to cold.

More than 5,000 US airline flights were cancelled.

Flights resumed from the region's bustling airports in Boston and NY, although 20 percent were again cancelled at John F. Kennedy airport and 30 percent from La Guardia, the FlightAware website said.

Late on Wednesday, a baggage vehicle and two sleeper cars on an Amtrak train traveling from Miami to NY, with 311 passengers aboard, derailed as it was slowly backing into a station in Savannah, Georgia.

Federal government offices delayed opening for two hours, while state officials in Connecticut, New Jersey and MA ordered nonessential workers to stay home. It is expected that there will be a buildup of more than 10m inches of Snow in the City of NY.

The wind is expected to let up by Sunday, with relatively balmy temperatures at the beginning of next week as temperatures are forecast to reach highs in the 30s. The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio issued a warning that the winter storm would cause some very detrimental conditions to the residents of the city and made a plea to all residents to stay in their homes this weekend.

In the Southeast, historic cities saw their heaviest snowfall in almost 30 years on Wednesday, according to AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Alan Reppert. Charleston, South Carolina, received 5.3 inches (13.46 cm) of accumulation, within an inch of its record, while Tallahassee, Florida saw its first measurable snow since 1989.

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