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Powerful Blizzard Hits East Coast As States Declare Emergencies

by Holly Hofstead - The Oregon Herald Monday January 26, 2015    10:30 PM

NEW YORK - New York is the city that never sleeps but you wouldn't know it early Tuesday morning.

8 million people have gone inside and streets are deserted, except for the snow plow trucks making their rounds.

The first big storm of the year may drop up to 3 feet of snow on Boston and New York before it ends Tuesday, with freezing rain and strong wind gusts possibly reaching 70 mph. Blizzard and winter storm warnings have been issued from Maryland through Maine and into Canada.

The massive blizzard is set to hit a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast United States, affecting tens of millions of people from New Jersey to Maine.

Up to two feet of snow is expected in coastal states, with winds gusting up to 75 mph.

New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts declared states of emergency on Monday afternoon. New York City and New Jersey will shut down all streets except for emergency vehicles after 11 p.m.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said up to three feet of snow may fall in the city, making it potentially the largest blizzard in city history.

Thousands of flights have been canceled, subways may be closed, and roads will likely be impassable, officials warned. Travel on Tuesday will be "very difficult, if not impossible."

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has suspended all PATH train service due to the blizzard.

Uber suspended car service in New York after the city's travel ban took effect late Monday.

Roads will be closed to non-emergency vehicles, with people facing fines of up to $300 if they violate the state order. Officials also announced "virtually all" flights at LaGuardia Airport would be canceled Tuesday, while many flights at JFK would also be affected. "The feeling is the storm has gotten worse," Cuomo told reporters. "The forecast is the snowfall gets worse overnight. Whatever we're looking at now we think is going to be exponentially worse tomorrow morning." "The good news is the sun will come out again," he said. "We just don't know when."

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