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Reports: Blizzard of 2017 slams New England after unleashing feet of snow, power cuts and avalanches in mid-Atlantic

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
March 15, 2017, 1:52:53 AM EDT

As of 1:30 a.m. EST Wednesday, this story is no longer being updated.

A major winter storm unfolded across the northeastern United States and brought travel to a halt as it dumped heavy snow across the region.

Thousands of flights were canceled and school districts across the entire region were closed in advance of the nor’easter. Several states have declared a state of emergency, including New York and New Jersey.

Heavy snow will continue to spread across the region through Tuesday night, with blizzard conditions possible from upstate New York through Maine.

Blizzard of 2017 unloads up to 2 feet of snow as nor'easter rages on
Interactive weather radar
Bitter cold to grip eastern US after major nor’easter

As of 11:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, the storm continues to track northward, bringing accumulations to an end over southern New England. While the storm has moved out of Pennsylvania and much of New York state, lake-effect snow will continue for many through Wednesday.

As of 9:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, over 31,000 electric customers were without power across Maine, according to Central Maine Power.

Many roads across Maine are covered in snow, making travel very difficult, including I-95.

I95 Maine

I-95 north bound at exit 63 in Maine. (Photo/Maine Turnpike)

At 7:55 p.m. EDT Tuesday, the heaviest snow was falling over Maine and upstate New York with some portions of Maine experiencing blizzard conditions. This includes sections of I-95 from Portland through Bangor.

Poor travel conditions were also being experienced along I-87 in New York, especially from Albany to the Canadian border with NWS trained spotters reporting between 12 and 24 inches of snow across much of this area.

radar maine ny

A wind gust of 138 mph was measured on top of Mount Washington with sustained winds of over 100 mph. Heavy, blowing snow was also causing visibility to be near-zero.

One of the highest snow totals is 30 inches in Damascus, Pennsylvania. The northeast United States has received enough snow to cause an avalanche near Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, located northwest of Scranton.

Top snowfall amounts by state as of 3:00 p.m. EDT Tuesday:

Damascus, Pennsylvania : 30 inches
Norwich, New York: 24 inches
Vernon, New Jersey: 19 inches
North Grandby, Connecticut: 18 inches
Hubbardston, Massachusetts: 16 inches
Burrillville, Rode Island: 12 inches

The National Weather Service for New York, New York, reports snow totals for Central Park are up to 7.2 inches, JFK airport has received 4.7 inches, LaGuardia Airport is covered by 7.2 inches and Newark airport is slightly behind with a total of 6.4 inches.

Snow and ice are causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of four hours and 13 minutes at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, (ORD). There is also a traffic management program in effect for traffic arriving at ORD and Chicago Midway Airport, Chicago, (MDW) as of 2:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

To stay up to date on flight delays visit the flight delay information center.

The National Weather Service of Binghamton reports Route 92 in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, is closed due to an avalanche. Tunkhannock is northwest of Scranton, Pennsylvania.


The Tunkhannock Township Police report a second slide on SR 92 south, just south of the SR 307 intersection. (Image via Tunkhannock Township Police)

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reports nearly 60,000 customers without power in the state as of 1:50 p.m. EDT Tuesday. A 72 mph wind gust was reported at Wellfleet, Massachusetts, which is 2 mph short of hurricane-force winds.

Elsewhere in New England, powerful winds toppled a wind turbine in Point Judith, Rhode Island, while a 70 mph wind gust was reported on Cape Cod.

wind turbine

(Photo/Narragansett Emergency Management Association)

AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer drove through Newburgh, New York, shortly before 1 p.m. EDT Tuesday, where about 20 inches of snow has fallen.

Heavy snow is burying northeastern Pennsylvania near Scranton, turning stretches of Interstate 81 into a ghost town. More than 2 feet of snow has been reported in the area.

As of 12:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, blizzard conditions are ongoing in northeastern Pennsylvania, parts of northwestern New Jersey and into the Hudson Valley of New York, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. Wind gusts up to 60 mph have been reported, he added.

The nor'easter continues to ground flights and cause power outages. More than 100,000 customers from areas down into Virginia are without power, the Associated Press reported.

More than 6,000 flights have been canceled as of 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.

In New Jersey, significant coastal flooding was reported along Arizona Avenue in Atlantic City. Utilities are reporting more than 40,000 customers without power in the state.

State troopers in Rhode Island and Connecticut have responded to a combined 15 crashes so far as of 10:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

Over an inch of snow has been reported at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. As of 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday, a wintry mix is impacting the area.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said residents should get out and shovel their sidewalks and treat them with de-icer.

wintry mix

snowstorm ap

A man walks past the Library of Congress in the snow, on Capitol Hill in Washington, early Tuesday, March, 14, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Snow covers the ground in Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

From 10 p.m. Monday through 7 a.m. Tuesday, the Maryland State Police responded to more than 100 accidents. No injuries or fatalities were reported.

There have also been many reports of downed trees across the state.

A snow emergency has been declared in Boston, and speed restrictions are now in place on the Massachusetts Turnpike. Boston Public Works said over 700 plows will be out on the city's streets by 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there are about 5,000 snow plows clearing roads across the state. As of 7:20 a.m. EDT Tuesday, the governor said the Metro-North Commuter Railroad will be closed.

brooklyn snow

The streets of Brooklyn, New York, were covered in snow around 2 a.m. Tuesday. (Photo/Instagram user/Terenaspatrick)


(Image/New York Department of Transportation)

As of 5:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday, 8 to 9 inches of snow have fallen around the Harrisburg and York, Pennsylvania, area. Both cities have reported moderate to heavy snow since midnight.

As of 4:15 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, 0.15 of an inch of freezing rain has accumulated at BWI Airport southwest of Baltimore. The ice is falling on top of 2 to 3 inches of snow that fell at the beginning of the storm.

Snowfall amounts so far have ranged from 5 inches in northern Maryland to 6 inches in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Major interstates are quickly becoming slushy and snow covered across much of central and eastern Pennsylvania as of 3:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has reported heavy snow with a quarter of a mile visibility since midnight. Around 5 inches of snow has been reported so far in the city.

PA road conditions

NYC snow 3.14.17

New York City sleeps quietly in the early morning hours under a blanket of snow as a nor'easter rolls up the East Coast. (Instagram/@_simplelyfe_)

snow 3.14.17

Snow makes for a quiet scene early Tuesday morning in Pennsylvania as a nor'easter moves up the East Coast. (Twitter/@walkerroyale)

Snow has started in New York City within the past hour and will continue to pick up in intensity through the morning.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, reported 2 inches of snow in two hours from 11 p.m. EDT on Monday to 1 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. Visibility is down to a quarter of a mile.

Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania signed a proclamation of disaster emergency for the state, deploying 700 National Guard members and 2,000 plow trucks. "Don't go to work tomorrow," he said at a press conference earlier in the day. "Tuesday is going to be a good day to stay home."

As of 11:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, a widespread 1 to 2 inches of snow has fallen across northern Virginia and central Maryland. Snow is picking up in intensity across Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, with visibility down to half a mile at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

snow 3.13.17

Snow covers all outdoor surfaces at this home in College Park, Maryland, on March 13, 2017. (Twitter/@Katelicte)

The Virginia National Guard is preparing for possible snow response and has been authorized to bring up to 200 personnel on state active duty. The National Guard will help first responders through deep snow and help evacuate citizens in need of shelter.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency earlier this afternoon and authorized state agencies to assist local governments during the storm. He also urged people to prepare for travel disruptions and possible power outages.

VA National Guard

The Virginia National Guard prepared for possible snow response on March 13 in Winchester, Virginia. (Photo/ Va. National Guard)

Light snow is falling along the I-81 corridor from Roanoke, Virginia, through Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This snow is not leading to many disruptions, but impacts are expected to increase over the next few hours as the snow becomes heavier and more widespread.

At 6:15 p.m. EDT on Monday, snow was starting to fall around Washington, D.C., and Baltimore with several NWS trained spotters reporting a trace of snow across the region.

Alabama Power crews have traveled north to Long Island, New York, ahead of the storm to help restore power after the powerful storm passes. About 350 Alabama Power line crews and support personal left for New York on Monday afternoon and are expected to arrive on Wednesday, according to Alabama News Center.

A State of Emergency has been declared in New York and New Jersey in preparation for the significant snowfall expected across the region.

The governor of Connecticut also issued a civil preparedness emergency and ordered a statewide travel ban, starting at 5 a.m. EDT on Tuesday and continuing until further notice.

The National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings from southeastern Pennsylvania to southern Maine, including New York City, the northern suburbs of Philadelphia and the northern and western suburbs of Boston.

Schools across the region have already closed in anticipation of the impending nor’easter, including all public schools in Boston, Philadelphia and New York City.

Some cities, including Boston, have also issued a snow emergency, meaning that parking will be prohibited in parts of the city to help with snow removal.

Over 6,000 flights have been canceled across the United States due to the storm, according to the Associated Press. This number may rise throughout Tuesday and into Wednesday as airports across the region work to clear the snow.

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