The East Coast is battling ‘life-threatening blizzard conditions’ today as one of the most powerful winter storms in living memory continues to dump feet of snow across states from northern Georgia to New Jersey.
The National Weather Service warned that the worst is still to come for many areas as one in seven Americans could get at least half a foot of snow by Sunday, and Washington could see snowdrifts more than four feet high.
In New York governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and has warned citizens to stay off the streets all day today as winter storm Jonas batters the city with wind gusts of up to 60mph with snow falling at a rate of two inches per hour.
Speaking to CNN this morning, New Jersey governor Chris Christie said: ‘We are ready to get the National Guard out for evacuations if necessary and we have shelters in every county in the state.
‘People should stay inside, not only is the weather incredibly nasty but it is helping us keep roads passable. We have two to three inches falling an hour. Please stay inside, please don’t drive today.’
In Kentucky drivers have been stuck in a 35-mile traffic jam for up to 12 hours along Interstate 75 after several cars became stuck, with the National Guard delivering food, water and fuel to motorists and removing cars one by one.
According to the National Weather Service’s website early Saturday, 18 inches of snow already had fallen on Ulysses in eastern Kentucky, while 16 inches fell in Beattyville.
Between 14 inches to 15.5 inches had fallen in at other locations across Kentucky, including Frenchburg, Mount Vernon, Eglon and Lancer.
The Weather service said 7 inches of snow had fallen in Washington, D.C. while snowfall amounts in nearby Maryland ranged between 4.5 inches in Baltimore and 13.5 inches in Oakland. In Virginia, Reagan National Airport reported 6.8 inches of snow and Elma had 15 inches.
Other states that recorded snowfall amounts greater than 6 inches included Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Various locations in Georgia and Alabama received between 1 and 3.5 inches of snow.
Much heavier snow and wind gusting to 60 mph should create blinding whiteout conditions once the storm joins up with a low pressure system off the coast, said Bruce Sullivan, a forecaster at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
Two feet or more of snowfall is forecast for Washington and Baltimore, and nearly as much for Philadelphia.
Read more: Daily Mail