The northeastern United States was under the snow on Wednesday, displacing some 2,500 flights at regional airports, road accidents and power cuts for thousands of homes.
Nearly 550 flights – or nearly 42% of the planned total – from or to JFK International Airport had been canceled at about 1900 local time (00:00 GMT), 700 flights – or 55% – for Newark International Airport, and also 700 (60%) for LaGuardia Airport, which primarily connects US destinations, according to the FlightAware Flight Tracking Site.
Boston and Philadelphia airports were also affected, with cancellation rates between 20 and 30%
The intensity of snowfall, sometimes accompanied by thunder and lightning, varied greatly from one region to another.
Only a few centimeters had fallen at the end of the day at JFK, but up to 30 centimeters of snow had fallen altogether in other more central districts of New York, and up to 50 centimeters in the more rural areas of New York. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut states, the National Weather Service (NWS), the national weather forecast, had revised upward by mid-day expected snow.
Temperatures were relatively mild (+2 degrees Celsius in New York) and the NWS provided for "heavy and wet snow, with squalls and floods on the coasts."
In the evening, fog and "conditions close to a "blizzard", with gusts of up to 55 km / h, made traveling in many areas near the US financial capital "very difficult if not impossible," according to the national weather.
– State of Emergency –
New York public schools such as courts or utilities remained open, although many closed earlier than planned to allow employees to return home.
In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy announced Tuesday night the closure of schools and declared a state of emergency.
Such a measure is common in the United States in the face of climatic hazards: it makes it possible to give priority to emergency vehicles and to release funds from the federal government.
In Boston, schools were to remain closed on Thursday
Rail transport was also disrupted. The national carrier Amtrak announced the cancellation of some of the trains running between Washington and Boston.
Last Friday, a storm had already swept the northeastern United States over a wider area from Maryland to Massachusetts, which had killed at least five people, mostly due to windfall trees violent events that had accompanied heavy rains
More than 100,000 households had been deprived of electricity. Several thousands of them were still without power on Wednesday, and other cuts were added, especially in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In the latter state, some 136,000 people were affected, according to the company FirstEnergy.
Wet snow and lack of visibility also caused many accidents on the roads. Between midnight and 4 pm, the New Jersey State Police reported that they had to respond to 356 accidents, but did not specify their severity.
The snow was not expected to last beyond Wednesday, however, according to weather forecasts, and the state of emergency in New Jersey was to be lifted at night.