The National Weather Service, which isn’t prone to exaggeration, is using terms like “life-threatening” and “historic” to describe the weather system taking aim at the Northeast.
The first big storm of the year may drop 3 feet of snow on Boston and New York before it ends Tuesday, with freezing rain and strong wind gusts possibly reaching 55 to 65 mph. Blizzard and winter storm warnings have been issued from New Jersey through Maine and into Canada.
“I want everyone to understand that we are facing — most likely — one of the largest snowstorms in the history of this city,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
That’s saying something. The history books show that the biggest storms in New York City history delivered 26.9 inches of snow in 2006, 25.8 inches in December 1947 and 21 inches in March 1888.
Spinning your wheels
Transportation will be a mess on the ground and in the air.
Find tips on what to do after a snow storm in #Massachusetts: http://t.co/nSzJmQskcj #MAsnow pic.twitter.com/Eh01FEpbFF
— Mass.gov (@MassGov) January 25, 2015
More than 1,800 flights have already been canceled for Monday, Flightaware.com reported, and the major U.S. airlines are offering fee-free rebooking of flights to and from the northeast on Monday and Tuesday.
“At this point, we plan to cancel all flights Tuesday at Newark, LaGuardia and JFK, as well as Boston and Philadelphia,” United Airlines spokeswoman Mary Ryan said.
Dorot, a nonprofit in New York that helps homebound seniors in Westchester County and northern Manhattan, collected 475 bags of food and water supplies, according to CNN affiliate WCBS.
“I think it’s great,” said Norma Amigo, 93, of the Upper West Side, who lives alone with no family nearby. “I think I’ll use some of this, especially the soup. … I will not go out if I think it’s slippery out because I fell two weeks ago.”
Tuesday is shaping up to be a day when the reality of the weather really sets in.
One of the inevitable aftereffects of snow — flooding — will quickly become a problem.
There could be coastal flooding in Massachusetts starting early Tuesday with pockets of major flooding on east-facing coastlines, the state emergency agency said.
“Plan to work from home is the best advice for Tuesday,” said Judson Jones, the CNN meteorologist.
CNN’s Sara Ganim and Dana Ford contributed to this report.