What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

Northeastern U.S. braces for blizzard conditions

With a nor’easter threatening to dump up to 3 feet of snow in certain areas, five governors declared states of emergency in anticipation of the potentially historic storm. The NewsHour’s Megan Thompson reports.

Read the Full Transcript

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The Northeastern Corridor of the U.S. hunkered down this evening for what could be a storm for the ages. Cities began shutting down services, airlines canceled nearly 6,000 flights through tomorrow, and some 35 million people braced for blizzard conditions.

    Megan Thompson of the weekend NewsHour reports from New York.

  • MEGAN THOMPSON:

    Snow began falling in earnest on New York City streets this afternoon, an early sign of the highly anticipated nor'easter that will pummel the East Coast through Tuesday.

    As the huge storm spread, forecasts, shown in this color-coded map, called for snowfall totals ranging from a foot in Philadelphia to three feet in Boston during the next 24 hours. Blizzard conditions were predicted over a 250-mile stretch.

    Five governors declared states of emergency, including Massachusetts' chief executive, Charlie Baker.

    GOV. CHARLIE BAKER, (R) Massachusetts: This is a top five historic storm. We should treat it as such. The safety of public is our primary concern at this point in time and will remain as such throughout the course of the storm.

  • MEGAN THOMPSON:

    And in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie urged people to get inside and stay there.

    GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) New Jersey: Starting later this afternoon, you should stay home if you can. You should only go out in the case of an absolute emergency or necessity. And the same goes for all day tomorrow.

  • MEGAN THOMPSON:

    In the meantime, cities large and small closed schools early and mobilized snowplow teams. And airlines began shutting down most or all of their operations at major airports around New York, Boston and elsewhere.

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had already warned people not to underestimate what they're in for.

  • MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, New York City:

    We are facing most likely one of the largest snowstorms in the history of this city. Prepare for something worse than we have seen before. Prepare to be safe. Take every precaution.

  • MEGAN THOMPSON:

    Many across the region heeded that advice, storming hardware and grocery stores for supplies yesterday in advance of the blizzard's approach.

  • WOMAN:

    We are preparing to not leave the house for a few days, should the need arise.

  • MAN:

    We got a lot of extra at the store today for backup, you know?

  • WOMAN:

    We're good for a week.

  • MEGAN THOMPSON:

    For many, of course, staying at home wasn't an option today, and for a time, it looked as though thousands of commuters might be stranded.

    New York City and state officials initially warned that bus, train, and other mass transit services could be curtailed before the evening commute. As the day went on, however, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that regular service would continue into the evening hours to help commuters get home.

    Governor Cuomo also announced major highways will be shutting down as conditions worsen.

    GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) New York: The blizzard brings with it very high winds, gusts up — gusts up to 55 miles per hour. And that's what makes the situation dangerous and difficult from our point of view. It's the snow combined with the wind.

  • MEGAN THOMPSON:

    The warnings prompted many New Yorkers to cut short the workday and head for shelter.

  • WOMAN:

    Usually, I go home at 5:00, but now I take the 1:15 bus, because then I get home at the right time, and it's not going to snow so much, because, later on, it's going to be really bad.

  • MAN:

    I just like got to work, and like 10 minutes before I got to work this morning, my boss is like, I'm going to send you home as soon as you get in.

  • MEGAN THOMPSON:

    Regardless of the weather, though, the New York Stock Exchange pledged it would be open for trading tomorrow.

    For the NewsHour, I'm Megan Thompson reporting from New York City.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Washington, D.C., expected to get only a minor snowfall, but the U.S. House had to postpone votes this evening because so many lawmakers were having trouble reaching the city.

Listen to this Segment

The Latest