This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 17 October, 2018
Advertisement

Four killed, flights cancelled and schools closed as 'bomb cyclone' batters the US

Nearly 75% of flights departing Boston and New Jersey’s Newark airports were cancelled.

Children did not miss the opportunity to play in the snow in New York.
Children did not miss the opportunity to play in the snow in New York.
Image: Erik McGregor/SIPA USA/PA Images

A GIANT WINTER “bomb cyclone” walloped the US East Coast on yesterday with heavy snow and freezing cold that made for treacherous travel conditions and bone-chilling misery.

Four people were reported killed in the southeastern states of North and South Carolina, where icy roads sent vehicles skittering.

The National Weather Service said early Friday that very cold temperatures and wind chills will follow for much of the eastern third of the US through the weekend.

A cold wave gripping a large section of the United States had already been blamed for a dozen deaths.

Source: NBC News/YouTube

Thousands of flights were cancelled and schools closed in many localities as snow piled up and blizzard conditions began taking hold in the northeast.

Officials closed the runways at La Guardia and Kennedy Airports in New York.

Temperatures were so low in northern New York that Niagara Falls — the giant waterfalls straddling the US-Canadian border — froze.

Snowfall eased by nightfall but temperatures were set to plunge to -13 Celsius and remain sub-freezing all weekend.

‘Bombogenesis’

News: Winter Weather Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Weather forecasters dubbed the event a “bomb cyclone,” their nickname for a phenomenon known as “bombogenesis,” in which a weather system experiences a sharp drop in atmospheric pressure and intensifies rapidly, unleashing hurricane-force winds.

Americans along the East Coast faced potential power outages in bitterly cold sub-freezing temperatures. About 30,000 customers in Virginia and North Carolina were deprived of electricity according to CNN.

Some 3,000 customers were hit in New York and about 10,000 in Boston, although service was partly restored at the end of the day.

Source: WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube

In coastal Boston, the storm was accompanied by giant waves that led to what Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker described as “historic flooding” that inundated the city’s eastern streets as well as coastal areas of the state.

New York mobilised additional resources by declaring a state of emergency, while a Singapore Airlines A380 was forced to land at the Stewart Airport upstate after being diverted from the city’s main JFK International.

The National Guard deployed about 500 personnel along the coast, according to a statement.

“Currently, the main focus is assisting with transportation support and vehicles,” the statement said.

The southeast was the first to feel the storm’s icy lash, when Florida on Wednesday saw its first snow in nearly three decades.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper lamented the deaths of three people in his state, including two killed when their pickup truck slid off a bridge and landed on its roof in a creek bed.

Roads were closed in northern Florida and southeastern Georgia, where Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in coastal areas.

‘Very dangerous’

NY: Bomb Cyclone Snow Storm Slams New York Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

With up to a foot of snow expected in parts of New York, accompanied by powerful wind gusts, schools were closed. More than a foot of the white stuff was expected in Boston.

Governor Andrew Cuomo warned: “Frigid temperatures are expected overnight, which should further complicate the situation” adding there had been a number of serious accidents.

Wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour were expected through Friday on Long Island and southeastern Connecticut, with wind chills as low as – 20 F (- 29 C), increasing the risk of frostbite and hypothermia from prolonged exposure.

The National Weather Service warned of “multiple hazards: moderate to heavy snow, low visibility, strong to damaging winds, coastal flooding, and hazardous seas,” from the developing storm moving northward towards New England.

“Anticipate travel and economic impacts today and tonight with accumulating snow and white-out conditions. Expect downed trees and power lines resulting in scattered to widespread outages.”

Travel disruptions

NY: Bomb Cyclone Snow Storm Slams New York Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Airlines have scrapped more than 4,200 flights into and out of the United States so far due to the storm, and delayed 2,200 others, according to flight tracker FlightAware.

Nearly 75% of flights departing Boston and New Jersey’s Newark airports were cancelled, including flights to and from Dublin and Shannon.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency.

“Virginians living in the impacted areas should stay off the roadways to allow local and state road crews and first responders to do their jobs safely and efficiently,” he said.

“With continued frigid temperatures expected to last for several more days, road conditions will remain treacherous beyond the expected end of the snowfall today,” he added.

National rail line Amtrak cancelled service between Washington, D.C., and Newport News, on the Virginia coast.

In Washington, despite only a dusting of snow, federal agencies opened two hours late, many schools were closed and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the chamber would hold no further votes this week, curtailing what was already a short work week due to the New Year’s holiday.

Senators had only returned to the upper chamber Wednesday, facing a series of critical votes in the coming weeks, including on funding to prevent a government shutdown and spending cuts.

- © AFP 2018 

Read: Donald Trump: ‘When Steve Bannon was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind’>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (12)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel