Nor'easter slams the Northeast

By Adrienne Vogt and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 8:07 PM ET, Sat January 29, 2022
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10:12 a.m. ET, January 29, 2022

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

From CNN's Dave Hennen

People shovel snow in Manhattan, New York, early Saturday morning.
People shovel snow in Manhattan, New York, early Saturday morning. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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.

8:50 a.m. ET, January 29, 2022

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

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia and Adrienne Vogt

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.

9:42 a.m. ET, January 29, 2022

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

From CNN's Christina Maxouris and Kristen Rogers

Snow falls in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday, January 28.
Snow falls in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday, January 28. (Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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.

8:13 a.m. ET, January 29, 2022

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

From CNN's Melissa Alonso  

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.  

 

9:38 a.m. ET, January 29, 2022

Nearly 55 million people are under winter weather alerts Saturday morning

From CNN's Haley Brink

People walk through the snow on Friday, January 28, in New York City.
People walk through the snow on Friday, January 28, in New York City. (Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

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.