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Northeast prepares for 'historic' blizzard

By Agencies in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2015-01-27 07:52

A section of the United States East Coast is braced for a potentially historic blizzard on Monday that is expected to dump as much as 90 centimeters of snow and disrupt transport for tens of millions of people.

The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a blizzard warning for the northern section of the East Coast from Monday afternoon until Tuesday, placing states from New Jersey to Maine under winter storm watches and advisories. Airlines canceled hundreds of flights ahead of the storm.

"This could be the biggest snowstorm in the history of this city," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference.

De Blasio told residents of the most populous US city to stay off the roads and to "prepare for something worse than we have seen before".

New York's biggest snowfall on record was 68 cm and came during a storm in February 2006, according to the city's Office of Emergency Management.

The NWS called the approaching system a crippling and potentially historic blizzard, with many areas along the East Coast expected to be blanketed by 30 cm to 60 cm of snow. The New York City area could be the hardest hit, with strong winds and snowfall of 76 cm or more in some suburbs.

Delta Air Lines said on Sunday it was canceling 600 flights because of the blizzard warning for the East Coast, while United Airlines will cancel all Tuesday flights at airports in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. The carrier will limit operations beginning on Monday night at Newark, LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports in the New York area, a spokeswoman said.

Southwest Airlines said on Sunday evening it would cancel more than 130 of 3,410 flights scheduled for Monday due to the storm, an increase from its earlier plan to cancel about 20 flights.

Cities along the heavily populated East Coast had snow plows and trucks on standby to dispense road salt. Shoppers emptied out many stores, stocking up on essentials.

"People have been coming in since this morning, buying rock salt and shovels," said Michael Harris, who works at the Ace Hardware store in Wading River, New York.


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