A powerful winter storm system delivered heavy snow across the Northeast, blanketing much of Pennsylvania, New York and New England and creating slick road conditions across the region Thursday.
Those living in and around New York City, Philadelphia and Boston woke to generally between 6 to 12 inches of snow, and snow continued to fall through the morning.
New York’s Central Park saw 10.5 inches as of Thursday afternoon, more than what fell during last year’s entire paltry winter season, the National Weather Service noted.
Parts of central Pennsylvania and upstate New York received the brunt of the snowfall, according to the NWS.
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, got a whopping 18.8 inches of snow, while Albany, New York, was hit with over 22 inches. The NWS office in Binghamton, New York, tallied nearly 40 inches of snow, their largest total since records began in 1951.
Ben Barnum posted a timelapse video of the snow piling up in his Binghamton backyard from Wednesday evening into Thursday morning.
CNN affiliate WBNG reported the roof of the air-supported Greater Binghamton Sports Complex collapsed during the heavy snowfall.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for 18 counties due to the snowstorm. He said there were 600 car accidents and two storm-related deaths.
“It is a serious condition. Again, stay home if you can,” Cuomo said.
Heavy snow lingered through much of Thursday across portions of New England, but by late afternoon all of the snow had finally pushed offshore. The lone exception was coastal Maine, where snow will taper off in the evening.
Slick roads cause deadly crashes
The wintry conditions played a role in several serious car crashes, including at least three deaths. There were also about 50,000 power outages across Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania as of midday Thursday, according to PowerOutage.US. Those numbers dropped later in the day.
Virginia State Police confirmed a 19-year-old involved in a collision in Pulaski died after his vehicle ran off the side of the highway, struck an embankment and overturned.
Brannagan K. Locklear was transported to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told CNN. Slick road conditions were believed to be a factor, Geller added.
In Pennsylvania, where the storm dumped heavy snow for hours, two people were killed and multiple others injured after a crash that involved 66 total vehicles on Interstate 80 in Clinton County, authorities said. One other person died in the “backlog” of crashes after suffering a medical emergency, state police said.
“Keeping the victims and their families in my prayers,” Gov. Tom Wolf wrote on Twitter. “Please stay home if you can and stay safe.”
In New York, heavy snowfall caused a 27-vehicle pileup Wednesday on the Henry Hudson Bridge in what officials call a chain-reaction event, New York Police Department Lt. Thomas Antonetti told CNN. There were no critical injuries, Antonetti added.
Six people were transported to area hospitals for their injuries, according to CNN affiliate WABC.
“Again, avoid any unnecessary travel during this storm,” the NYPD wrote on Twitter.
Transportation systems across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were all affected by the storm, officials said. NJ Transit announced some bus and rail services would remain suspended Thursday morning. The New York City Ferry also announced a delayed start Thursday, saying it would not operate during morning rush hours “while crews work to ensure rider safety on landings.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced all school buildings would be closed Thursday and in-person learning was canceled.
“I know we all grew up with the excitement of snow days, but this year is different,” he wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “Tomorrow will be a FULL REMOTE learning day for our students.”
There wasn’t just snow
But the storm didn’t just dump snow. Powerful wind gusts – of about 55 to 65 mph – from Delaware to New Jersey caused minor damage, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said. The coastline will likely continue to feel strong winds from New Jersey up through Massachusetts all day, with a possibility of coastal flooding in Delaware through New Jersey, Guy said.
The southern portion of the system also pushed a cold front across central Florida Wednesday, spawning several tornadoes across Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, Guy said.
In neighboring Polk County, Sheriff Grady Judd said authorities were dispatched Wednesday evening after reports of a possible tornado, just north of the city limits of Lakeland.
Deputies arrived at the area and found “significant damage on two streets,” Judd said, adding two houses appear to be “uninhabitable at this point.”
“There is significant damage to trees and to other homes in the area,” the sheriff said. “We started going door to door … to check for safety security and to make sure there were no injuries.”
The sheriff said they had not received any reports of injuries “even though there was significant damage.”
CNN’s Rebekah Riess, Artemis Moshtaghian, Justin Lear, Taylor Ward and Brian Vitagliano contributed to this report.