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Nor’easter slams the Northeast

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02:04

What we covered here

  • Roughly 19 million people, stretching from the Mid-Atlantic to New England, are under winter weather alerts due to a powerful and potentially historic nor’easter.
  • Whiteout conditions, strong winds and coastal flooding led several governors to declare states of emergency.
  • View the forecast and snow amounts here and sign up for email alerts here.
  • If you’ve lost power or have low mobile connectivity, you can see the latest CNN headlines on our lite site.

Our live coverage has ended for the day.

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Parts of Massachusetts may see 30 inches of snow, governor says

A man shovels snow in near whiteout conditions during a nor'easter in Marshfield, Massachusetts, on January 29.

The nor’easter snowstorm has delivered heavy snowfall and high winds as predicted in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said at a news conference on Saturday. 

More than 100,000 power outages have been reported statewide and more are expected overnight due to high winds, he said. 

The snow was falling at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour for several hours in many parts of the state and is expected to continue for the next couple of hours, Baker said. Southeastern Massachusetts may receive up to 30 inches of snow while the greater Boston area may get 2 feet, the governor said. 

The rate of snow is expected to slow soon but light to moderate snowfall will continue until approximately 11 p.m. ET.

Utility crews are doing damage assessments and will begin working on restoring power when wind falls below 35 mph, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Katie Theoharides said during the presser.

Baker said crews will be working throughout the night into early tomorrow morning to clear the snow. Approximately 3,000 pieces of snow-clearing equipment are in use across the state, he said. The governor said it will take until at least mid-morning Sunday for the roads to be in better condition for drivers.  

The Massachusetts governor said the tractor-trailer ban on all interstate highways will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

Delaware governor terminates state of emergency and eases driving restrictions

Delaware Gov. John Carney terminated the state of emergency he announced Friday night and eased driving restrictions in certain counties in the state starting at 6 p.m. ET, according to a news release from his office.

Carney eased driving restrictions in Kent and Sussex counties, allowing drivers to operate vehicles there with “extra caution” as outlined by the Delaware Department of Transportation’s (DelDOT) Level 1 driving warning guidelines.

Those warnings start at 6 p.m and are effective until 8 a.m. Sunday, according to Carney. The governor also lifted the Level 1 driving warning for New Castle County effective 6 p.m. 

“Drivers should continue to exercise caution as DelDOT continues to clear roadways,” Carney said in the release. “Thank you to our DelDOT crews, the Delaware National Guard, and all state and local officials for their response efforts throughout this storm.”

Atlantic City and Philadelphia set daily snowfall records

According to the National Weather Service, the following areas broke snowfall records for this calendar date, Jan. 29:

  • Atlantic City recorded 14-inches of snow, breaking the old record of 7.3 inches set in 2014.
  • John F. Kennedy Airport recorded 11 inches, breaking the old record of 1.0 set in 2014.
  • LaGuardia Airport recorded 9.4 inches, shattering the old record of .9 inches set in 1966.
  • New York’s Central Park recorded 7.3 inches, breaking the old record of 4.7 inches set in 1904.
  • Philadelphia recorded 5.8 inches of snow today, breaking the old record of 5.0 inches set in 1904.

Atlantic City’s monthly total is now 33.2 inches, far surpassing the previous monthly mark of 20.3 inches set in January 1987.

Roughly 19 million people are under winter weather alerts due to the ongoing storm

Zack Andersen skis off a jump built on the lawn of Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, on Saturday, January 29, in Somervillle, Mass.

There are nearly 19 million people under winter weather alerts across six states as of 4 p.m. ET, according to the National Weather Service.

These alerts extend from southern New York to Maine and include New York City, Boston and Portland.

Nine million people remain in a blizzard warning from New York to Maine, mainly along the coast, the NWS added.

See the latest snowfall amounts in your area

Wondering how much has already fallen? This map shows snow reports from across the Northeast.

Parts of New Jersey and New York record over 18 inches of snow

As of 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday, the highest snowfall amounts have been recorded along the New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island coastlines, according to the National Weather Service.

Bayville, N.J., observed 19 inches; Bay Shore, N.Y., recorded 18.5 inches; Norton, Mass., got 17.6 inches; and Warren, R.I., measured 17 inches.

High winds, snow and flooding across Nantucket leave areas without power

Nantucket fire crews are battling high winds and snow, which have caused several fallen trees across the Massachusetts island, Fire Chief Stephen Murphy told CNN Saturday afternoon.

Downtown Nantucket and other areas of the island have been affected by flooding at high tide, and as a result, Murphy said several roadways are closed.

Murphy says several areas are without power due to downed wires.

“The fire department has been busy responding to many fire alarms due to the weather but has not responded to any needs for rescues due to the storm,” Murphy said, adding that there are currently no shelters opened on the island by either emergency management or the Red Cross.

Nor’easter spurs over 3,500 US flight cancellations on Saturday

More than 3,500 flights within, into or out of the United States have been canceled for Saturday as the potentially dangerous nor’easter moves along the East Coast, according to FlightAware.

There are also currently over 1,000 delays within, into or out of the US.

In addition to Saturday’s weather woes, more than 1,000 flights have already been canceled for Sunday, according to the site.

A flight information display system shows departure times at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on December 27, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.

What should I do if my flight has been canceled or delayed?

How to stay safe in a blizzard

Multiple blizzard warnings have been issued from the National Weather Service because of the nor’easter barreling up the East Coast today.

Officials have warned residents to hunker down and avoid driving so plows can work on clearing the snow.

Read more about what to do if you get stuck:

ZAO, JAPAN - JANUARY 20:  Snow trees are seen at Zao Ski Resort on January 20, 2018 in Yamagata, Japan. The natural creation is called Ôsnow monstersÕ, attract visitors. on January 20, 2018 in Zao, Japan.  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

You're trapped in a blizzard. Do you know what to do next to survive?

Areas in Massachusetts observe hurricane-force wind gusts

Eastern Massachusetts has observed hurricane-force wind gusts from the powerful winter storm whipping through the state.

Cape Cod is getting the worst of the winds. Wellfleet and West Dennis recorded maximum wind gusts of over 80 mph, and Provincetown observed a gust of 76 mph, while Nantucket and Chatham saw gusts of around 60 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

To put it into perspective, category 1 hurricane winds measure 74-95 mph.

Here's what it looks like in the Northeast right now

As the nor’easter hammers the East Coast with snow and fierce winds, this is the view on the ground:

Thomas Hoaglin, the maintenance manager at the Beachmere Inn in Ogunquit, Maine, recorded video of weather conditions during Saturday’s nor’easter.

The inn is right on the water, but the ocean can barely be seen right now because of the blowing snow.

A Maryland man captured video of the boardwalk area in Ocean City at about 11:35 a.m. ET on Saturday showing intense wintery conditions.

Tim Grooms said the snow seemed to have died down, but the winds were blowing snow into drifts.

Jodi Wolin recorded this video on Saturday morning from one of the upper floors of a 40-story building overlooking Boston Harbor.

James Degelder shot this video from the Ocean Bluff area of Mansfield, Mass., on Saturday just before high tide at about 8:05 a.m. ET.

And CNN’s own Meg Wagner was out in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park this morning between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. ET.

View more photos here:

Xavier Martinez scrapes snow off his windshield in Providence, Rhode Island, on Saturday, January 29.

In pictures: Nor'easter slams East Coast

Water spills over sea wall in Massachusetts town due to storm, official says

Roughly 4 feet of water spilled over the sea wall in Marshfield, Mass., this morning due to the winter storm slamming the Northeast, according to Town Administrator Michael Maresco.

“Not only are we dealing with the snow, we’re dealing with the water and the frigid temperatures,” Maresco told CNN.

The town is experiencing winds of about 55 to 65 mph, 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour, and about 20% of residents — around 2,500 — are without electricity.

The town is opening a warming center for those affected.

Officials have gotten a few emergency calls from the elderly who lost power and needed electricity to generate oxygen, he said.

He said this storm is “worse than the storms we had in ’18, right now, at least the amount of snow, not the amount of water.”

Officials are concerned about roads freezing over due to frigid temperatures, he added.

Connecticut governor: "It's a wicked New England storm"

Speaking at a Saturday afternoon news conference, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said that as of now, not many outages were reported, and he warned residents to stay off the road as storm conditions persist.

A transportation department official said that more than 600 plows have been out clearing the roads and about 100 contractors are ready as a backup in case they’re needed. 

A small number of accidents were reported, according to one official, and some vehicles have also been cited for undisclosed violations.

Metro-North and other commuter lines are shut down on Saturday, but authorities believe that regular Sunday service will resume after the snow subsides.

Lamont said the storm would get worse before it gets better and recommended that residents stay in their homes on Saturday.

MTA head says New York City subways are almost fully operational

A man carefully walks down snow-covered subway stairs in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday.

The head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority said “the subway system is operating almost fully” as storm conditions impact New York City.

Of the 472 subway stations, only a few are lacking service, with service temporarily suspended to the Rockaways in Queens, MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said during a news briefing Saturday.

There are 2,400 buses operating with “chains on their tires,” Lieber said.

The commuter rail is a “tale of two different stories,” he added.

The Long Island Railroad, which services Nassau and Suffolk counties, has been shut down and will remain so throughout the day. The timing of reopening Sunday depends on when the storm abates, he said.

Metro-North, which services Westchester and areas north of New York as well as Connecticut, is a “positive story” with hourly service at three branches, Lieber said.

New York governor says the epicenter of the storm is now on Long Island

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Long Island is the “epicenter” of this storm that is expected to continue to drop snow in parts of the state at least until 6 p.m. ET.

If you see a gap in snowfall, “don’t be misled by that,” Hochul said. Meanwhile, the deep freeze after the snow will impact the cleanup, officials said.

As of 9:30 a.m. ET, parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties had received seven to 11 inches with another five to 12 inches expected as the snow will continue until 6 p.m. ET, she said.

In New York City, four inches of snow has fallen so far with another four to seven inches expected before 3 p.m. ET, she said.

“We are in the throes of the most serious dangerous part as we speak, we want to make sure everyone understands that,” the governor said.

Hochul said compounding the weather conditions was the upcoming deep freeze the state expected.

“It’s not just snowfall that’s going to melt very quickly and going to be fine,” she explained. “There are layers of ice that will be under it the ice will take longer to go away because of the frozen temperatures.”

Video shows Rhode Island mailman trudging through blustery snow

Mike Cohea, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, captured video of a USPS mailman braving the nor’easter to deliver the mail Saturday morning.

You can see the mailman holding up his hand to shield his face from the strong winds.

“We are in the height of the storm and are near blizzard conditions. Mail carrier’s route was at least 2-3 hours long and he’s on foot the whole time,” Cohea told CNN.

Watch the video:

Airports in New York and New Jersey record a large number of canceled flights

Three major New York and New Jersey area airports have seen a majority of flights canceled amid the inclement weather Saturday.

More than 76% of flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport and over 90% of flights at LaGuardia Airport were cancelled, said acting commissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Jackie Bray.

More than 85% of scheduled flights at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey were cancelled due to the storm, a total of 606 flights in all, the airport tweeted.

New Jersey governor says the shore is getting "clobbered" and urges residents to stay indoors

New Jersey’s governor said Saturday that while the snowstorm is a statewide event, the Jersey Shore is “getting clobbered.”

Gov. Phil Murphy said that Atlantic City, Asbury Park, Manasquan, Avalon, and “any number of communities” are seeing 15-plus inches of snow, with several hours still to run.

These areas are also seeing very high gusting winds. Murphy added that while he’s not unconcerned about flooding, his focus remains on the accumulation of snow and the powerful winds.

Murphy reminded residents of his state of emergency declaration that has imposed a commercial vehicle ban to “prevent the jackknifing of tractor-trailers.” 

“We brined roads up and down the states,” Murphy said. “[We] prepositioned what is now probably 3,000 vehicles, pieces of equipment, to deal with this. [We’re] working very closely with contractors, county local officials … it’s a whole array of steps you take.” 

“You do everything you can but you can’t deny the fact it’s Mother Nature,” he continued. “So you can mitigate some of this, but you can’t necessarily overcome all of it.”

Murphy said that it’ll take some time for the state to recover from the snowstorm. While the state has been plagued by fewer power outages than expected — they’re under 1,200 — and fewer accidents, the governor asked that New Jersey residents remain patient. 

“It’s human nature … the sun’s going to be out tomorrow, it’s going to be cold but you want to think everything can go back to normal like a light switch,” he said. “It’ll take us a few days to dig out of this one and that’s probably what’s the realistic scenario.”

Murphy recommended similarly cautioned patience to all those trying to fly or take trains. 

“I just think folks have to realize this is one of these days where you kind of have to go with the flow,” he said.

Multiple locations in the Northeast have recorded over a foot of snow so far

Areas of New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware and Connecticut have seen over a foot of snowfall so far from the winter storm.

The town of Tuckerton on the New Jersey coast recorded 16 inches of snow, while Islip on New York’s Long Island has seen 15 inches as of 11 a.m. ET Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Towns in Delaware, Maryland and Connecticut have gotten 12-14 inches, and Mount Le Conte in Tennessee measured a foot of snow.

Long Island county executive on "significant" winter storm: "This is not a short-term event"

Long Island’s Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone warned that the peak of the snowstorm has been pushed back, forecasting that parts of the New York county could see up to 2 feet of snow.

“That is not only a significant storm — it’s one of the most significant storms that we have seen in my time here,” Bellone said. “And we have seen many, many significant storms.”

Bellone said Suffolk County’s west end can expect 12-18 inches of snow, while the east can expect up to 2 feet of snow. 

“We are in the heart of this storm,” Bellone said. “We are already at this point about 9, 10 inches, maybe a little higher in certain areas of the county.”

Though the height of the storm was initially projected for 12 p.m. ET, the county executive says this has now pushed back to 2 p.m. — at which point there will still be heavy snowfall of about 1 inch to 2 inches per hour. The storm will linger through the evening, and plows will work through the night, Bellone said. Saturday night could see wind chills of below 0 degrees. 

“As we work to get the snow off the roadways, as the snow continues to fall through the evening, those temperatures will help with locking ice and snow that is on the ground,” he said. “That will create hazardous conditions through the night and tomorrow as well.” 

Bellone also said Suffolk County is doing well in regard to power outages. The executive said that the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) has done a “great job” getting customers’ power restored. He said that over 100 customers were previously experiencing power outages, this number is currently down to 10 now. 

Crashes, too, have been minimal, according to Suffolk County Police Department Chief Robert Waring. 

“So far, we only have three active crashes,” the police chief said. “We’ve had 57 crashes since the start of the storm; between 9 [p.m.] and 12 [a.m.] last night was the majority, we had 33. We have one road closure right now; there was one car into a pole.”

Waring said that additional officers assigned to the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway. The Suffolk County Police Department also help comprise the Emergency Operation Center, which Bellone said opened up Friday night at 7 p.m. Bellone said that all partners — including the sheriff’s office, the police department, partner agencies, New York State Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Services, PSEG and National Grid — are present and that they’ll continue working together throughout the storm’s duration.

According to the National Weather Service, in Islip, N.Y. — which is on Long Island — more than 10 inches of snow has fallen already.

White House "continuing to monitor" weather conditions, in touch with governors as needed

Snow falls around the White House in Washington, DC, on Friday, January 28.

The White House is “continuing to monitor” conditions along the East Coast as a nor’easter continues to batter states in the Northeast and is in communication with governors as needed, a White House spokesperson told CNN Saturday.

In a statement Friday, White House Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall said the administration would be “actively monitoring the storm’s projected impacts and working closely with [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] to ensure that we are prepared to support any needs for Federal assistance” that may arise in states affected by the weekend’s storm, warning of “extreme cold and hazardous conditions” in many communities. 

President Biden remains at the White House with no events on his public schedule Saturday.  

NYC mayor urges residents to stay off the roads

Pedestrians and motorists make their way through heavy snow in Times Square, New York, on January 29.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams told CNN the city is receiving continuous and steady snowfall and it’s imperative that residents avoid driving.

“It’s clear that the streets are passable, but we are still receiving continuous and steady snowfall and so it’s important not to be on the roads at this time,” he told CNN.

“It’s really important for people to be off the roadways. This allows emergency vehicles and Department of Sanitation to pass through,” he said. 

The city’s subways have disruptions but are not closed, just operating slower than usual, the mayor said. He adds that it’s best at this time to use public transportation to travel.

Rhode Island gov asks residents to stay home as winter storm could be one of state's most "significant" ever

A patron walks through snow in the doorway of a coffee shop in Providence, Rhode Island, on Saturday, January 29.

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee said in a press conference Saturday morning that the snowfall currently hitting his state has the potential to be among the most significant storms in the state’s history.

“As we expected, the storm started accumulating overnight and the winds have picked up; we are now seeing significant snowfall and rapid accumulation,” McKee said. “This is one of the top snowfalls in the 24-hour period in the history of the state of Rhode Island at this point in time. That’s what we expect and that’s what we’re getting,” adding that conditions worsened there overnight. 

McKee asked residents to stay indoors, stay off the roads and leave space for snowplows as officials expect the heaviest snows to hit between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET on Saturday. 

The Jamestown, Claiborne Pell/Newport Bell and Sakonnet River bridges are all closed to traffic except for emergency vehicles, he added. 

McKee said that power outages are currently low, with 75 outages reported so far and that Rhode Island State Police responded to 15 weather-related accidents Saturday morning.

McKee also said that a letter was sent to the White House requesting an emergency disaster declaration. He also said he spoke to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in case their assistance is needed. 

The governor and other officials will be updating residents on the weather conditions throughout the day.

Frozen iguanas could fall from trees due to cold temperatures in Florida, weather center warns

Bitter cold Arctic air has also plunged well into the South and Florida and could bring the coldest temperatures in over a decade to Miami tomorrow morning — with the Weather Prediction Center warning of a chance of frozen falling iguanas in the Sunshine State.

“Much of the state will remain mostly clear and frigid tonight with the chance for scattered to isolated falling iguanas from trees due to subfreezing temperatures that may temporarily paralyze them,” according to the Weather Prediction Center.

Freeze watches and warnings are in effect for much of the Florida peninsula tonight.

Wind chill advisories cover most of Florida, including Miami and even Key Largo. Wind chills will drop into the teens in the northern part of the state to near freezing in Miami.

Freeze warnings are in effect for around 9 million people in Florida, including Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Melbourne.

Atlanta had a “dusting” measuring 0.2 inches of snow overnight. South Georgia is also under a freeze warning, according to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink.

Winter storm is officially a bomb cyclone, according to National Weather Service

It’s official. We’ve got a bomb cyclone, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

Bomb cyclone is a term given to a rapidly strengthening storm that fulfills one important criterion. Generally, pressure must drop 24 millibars (a unit of pressure) within 24 hours.

However, that benchmark is also based on the latitude of the storm. So, the millibar requirement can change depending on where the storm forms.

Read all about bomb cyclones here.

Over 115,000 Massachusetts customers are without power, state agency says

At least 116,964 Massachusetts customers are without power Saturday morning as a powerful nor’easter lashes the region, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Most of Massachusetts’ outages are occurring on Cape Cod and along the southern coastline, according to MEMA’s map.

Nearly 55 million people, stretching from the Mid-Atlantic to New England, were under winter weather alerts Saturday morning, CNN previously reported.

Atlantic County, N.J., is experiencing whiteout conditions and power outages

Atlantic County, N.J., officials have activated the county’s Emergency Operations Center as residents are waking up “to accumulating snow, increasing winds, minor coastal flooding and whiteout conditions as the county remains under a blizzard warning through 4 p.m. today with snow falling at rates of 1-3 inches in some areas near the coast.”

While there were no major issues reported overnight, there are power outages impacting 374 homes, according to a press release

Atlantic City officials had to close Route 40, one of the main arteries into and out of the city, according to Rebecca Mena, media relations spokesperson for the mayor and fire chief. Closure is not uncommon in serious weather events, as a combination of high tide and high winds blowing water inland and heavy snow accumulation create untenable conditions on the road, she said. 

The road has since reopened, CNN’s Brian Todd reported.

One of the main issues Saturday so far is people venturing out in their cars and getting stranded, Mena said. She said officials advise residents to stay home.

Atlantic County officials said travel is dangerous, adding that “if you become stranded, remain with your vehicle.”

02:22

A city-by-city timeline of nor'easter impacts

People shovel snow in Manhattan, New York, early Saturday morning.

Dangerous winter weather is impacting much of the East, with winter alerts from the Carolinas to New England, while the coldest weather in over a decade impacts south Florida, where wind chill alerts include Miami.

Blizzard warnings, the most severe of winter warnings, cover over 11 million people, including Atlantic City, N.J; Providence, R.I.; Boston, Mass.; Cape Cod, Mass.; and Portland, Maine.

Over a foot of snow has fallen in parts of New Jersey and heavy snow is working its way up the coast.

The storm will peak later this morning through the afternoon hours, with snowfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour in some areas, with the snow ending in all areas by tomorrow morning.

As the storm continues to intensify, winds will increase, with hurricane-force wind gusts possible along the coast and widespread power outages.

A 1- to 3-foot storm surge is expected along the coast, which will bring coastal flooding, especially at high tides.

Timeline:

Washington, DC:

  • All advisories have expired
  • Winds will continue to be strong this morning with gusts of up to 40 mph

Philadelphia, Penn.:

  • Winter storm warning in effect until 4 p.m. ET this afternoon
  • Around 6 inches of snow has fallen already with an additional 2-3 inches possible; snow ends early afternoon
  • Wind gusts up to 35 mph
  • Storm has peaked and conditions will improve this afternoon

New York, N.Y.:

  • Winter storm warning in effect until 7 p.m. ET this evening
  • Snow continues into the early afternoon
  • 4-6 inches of snow has fallen already, with snow continuing this morning with snow totals of 8-12 inches expected 
  • Wind gusts up to 40 mph 
  • Peak: ongoing through early afternoon

Boston, Mass.:

  • Blizzard warning in effect through 5 a.m. ET Sunday
  • Blizzard conditions: 24-30 inches of snowfall
  • Snowfall of 2-4 inches per hour possible
  • Wind gusts up to 65 mph
  • Peak: Now through 10 p.m. ET tonight 

Portland, Maine: 

  • Blizzard warning in effect until 6 a.m. ET Sunday
  • Blizzard conditions: 12-18 inches of snowfall
  • Wind gusts up to 50 mph
  • Peak: Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Massachusetts mayor calls nor'easter "almost a minor hurricane with snow"

Thomas Koch, mayor of Quincy, Mass., called the powerful nor’easter “really almost a minor hurricane with snow.”

Quincy is south of Boston.

“We are expecting somewhere between 9 [a.m. ET] and noontime absolute whiteout conditions where things will come to a halt,” he said in a CNN interview.

Quincy is a coastal city south of Boston.

The “big issue that I see is us getting our streets back opened up again,” he said. “There’s no question that we’re going to lose control for a period of time. There’s no way plows can operate when they can’t see in front of their face. So when you are talking 2-3 feet of snow, that’s a lot of snow, and with 70 mph winds, we’re looking at 6- to 8-foot drifts,” he said.

When discussing concerns over flooding, the mayor said the town has a new seawall that is 2 feet higher than its old one.

The city is prepared to call for evacuations but “the first tide is high now; we think we’re going to be OK,” he said, though officials are watching for the next cycle. There have been no major emergencies so far, the mayor added.

Eastern Massachusetts, which is under a blizzard warning, could see up to 30 inches of snow in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.

What to pack in your car to stay safe in a snowstorm

Snow falls in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday, January 28.

If you’re ever stranded in your car due to a bad winter storm, being prepared can be the difference between survival and serious harm or death.

Winter storms, bad weather and sloppy road conditions can be frightening and dangerous for travelers, and “are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter,” according to AAA.

Regardless of whether a severe storm is coming, here are some tips to stay safe on the road:

  • While in a winter storm, you should try to minimize traveling as much as you can to avoid getting stranded on the road. Make sure that if you do have to go out, you have a full tank of gas, said Joann Sands, a clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Buffalo, who trains students in disaster and emergency preparedness.
  • It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit inside each one of your family’s vehicles in case you get stranded.
  • Have important documents readily available in case of an evacuation, including home or renter’s insurance, social security cards, birth certificates and passports, Sands said.
  • Create a family communications plan on how you’ll be able to get in touch if you are separated during the storm.
  • Do not bring portable generators, camp stoves and grills inside your home. Keep them at least 20 feet away from your windows, doors and vents to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Here is what those could look like.
  • Plan to check on your elderly or disabled neighbors and friends.

Massachusetts issues highway travel ban for tractor-trailers due to winter storm   

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation implemented a travel ban for large trucks on interstate highways for Saturday because of the severe winter weather forecast, according to a MassDOT tweet.  

The travel ban is in effect today from 6 a.m. through midnight “for tractor-trailer trucks, tandems and special permit haulers,” MassDOT said.  

“MassDOT urges all of these large truck drivers to plan accordingly and to stay off the roads to allow MassDOT crews to work,” the department said.   

During a Friday briefing, Gov. Charlie Baker urged all residents across the state “to avoid nonessential travel” ahead of the winter storm.  

“We are actively monitoring this weekend’s winter storm, and we are urging residents to stay home and to allow crews to safely treat and clear roadways,” Baker said. 

“MassDOT has 2561 pieces of equipment currently deployed statewide in snow & ice operations,” a tweet said.  

Nearly 55 million people are under winter weather alerts Saturday morning

People walk through the snow on Friday, January 28, in New York City.

Nearly 55 million people are under winter weather alerts this morning from the Mid-Atlantic to New England due to a powerful nor’easter that is currently bringing snow to the eastern states.

Ten states, from Virginia to Maine, remain under blizzard warnings this morning. Snowfall totals of 2 to 6 inches of snow have already fallen across portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast overnight — and more snow is still on the way. 

The heaviest snowfall totals of 1 to 2 feet and locally higher amounts are possible across portions of Long Island in New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. New York City remains under a winter storm warning this morning where 6 to 12 inches of snow is forecast.

Snow will be heavy, falling at rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour in some locations. Winds will be strong especially along the immediate coastline where they could gust up to 70 mph, which is near hurricane strength. These gusty winds combined with heavy snowfall will lead to whiteout conditions, very difficult-to-impossible travel and power outages through the day on Saturday.

GO DEEPER

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