New York may be offline early this week

January 26, 2015 09:41 AM

New York officials told residents to stay at home as a blizzard forecasters call “life-threatening” may dump as much as two feet of snow from New York to Boston.

Northern New Jersey, New York City, Long Island and large parts of southern New England to Boston may receive as much as 24 inches (60 centimeters) of snow, the National Weather Service said in its latest advisory. The storm has already caused more than 1,800 flight cancellations and will probably block road and rail traffic, close schools and knock out power across the U.S. Northeast.

Snow may fall so hard and fast that commuter rail, buses and subways may be shut down before workers leave for home on Monday afternoon, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. A blizzard warning has been posted from New Jersey to Maine’s border with Canada.

“Commuters should consider working from home on Monday if possible to avoid disruptions from likely road and public transportation closures,” Cuomo said.

With light snow falling from Washington to New York, meteorologists have a better idea of how the storm will shape up, and that’s why snow forecasts have been revised, said Patrick Burke, of the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

Most Intense

The most intense snow will start Monday afternoon in New York, said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. In Boston, the worst snow will come overnight.

“It may persist eight, 10, 12 hours in a specific location,” Burke said.

In addition to the blizzard warning, winter storm and weather advisories stretch from Ohio to Maine. As of 8 a.m. in New York, 1,978 flights had been canceled within, into, or out of the U.S., including 499 in and out of La Guardia Airport, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking service.

“We expect to have a serious problem on our hands,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference on Sunday. “We are facing one of the largest snowstorms in the recorded history of this city.”

Storm Warnings

All city agencies are on high alert as New York sanitation workers try to maintain 6,000 miles (9,654 kilometers) of road, de Blasio said. He said residents should stay home Monday or leave work early if possible.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will bring on extra personnel who will work 12-hour shifts as it prepares to maintain operations at its airports, tunnels, bridges and train systems, according to an e-mailed statement.

Secondary roads may quickly become impassible and anyone traveling after Monday afternoon should have a winter survival kit in their car, according to the blizzard warning issued by the National Weather Service.

New York City schools will be open Monday with anticipated closures on Tuesday, de Blasio said. Alternate side of street parking will be canceled.

The biggest snowstorm in New York’s history was in February 2006, when 26.9 inches fell, said Bob Oravec, of the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. The most that has fallen in a 24-hour period was 24.1 inches in the same storm.

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