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New York declares state of emergency for severe blizzard

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-27 09:13

New York declares state of emergency for severe blizzard

A woman and man observe a puppy playing in the snow during a snowstorm in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, New York January 26, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo declared here Monday a state of emergency for New York City and its suburban areas as the region braces for a "potentially historic" storm that could dump up to 2 feet of snow.

Cuomo warned that conditions during the snowstorm will be "dangerous and difficult."

The National Weather Service has issued a citywide blizzard warning, which is in effect from 1 pm Monday until Wednesday at 12 am The current forecast calls for 18 to 24 inches of snow, with locally higher amounts possible and snowfall rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour late Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Northern winds of 20 to 30 mph are forecast, with gusts of up to 55 mph possible. Temperatures in the lower 20 degrees Fahrenheit (below -6 degrees centigrade) are expected, with visibility of one quarter mile or less at times.

Cuomo said the massive storm barreling into the area "should not be taken lightly" and "could affect health and safety."

According to the governor, utilities are prepared to respond 24 hours a day to power disruptions and mandated to implement their emergency response plans. New York's utilities have a total of 3, 943 in-house workers and outside contractors standing ready to assist in storm.

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