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Powerful snowstorm hits eastern U.S., snarling travel

The Northeast is currently being battered by a severe winter storm that started early Thursday morni..

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  • The Northeast is currently being battered by a severe winter storm that started early Thursday morning
  • A rapid plunge in pressure has caused a 'bomb cyclone' system of fast heavy snowfall and winds up to 76 mph
  • Boston experienced historic flooding as floodwaters hovered close to 15.1 foot mark similar to Blizzard of 1978
  • Three people were killed in North Carolina, one in South Carolina and two in Virginia, officials said
  • The storm has caused traffic chaos as plows work around-the-clock to try and keep roads clear
  • More than 4,000 flights in and out of the US today have been cancelled thanks to the storm
  • All flights in and out of JFK and LaGuardia Airports in New York City have been temporarily suspended
  • Schools were ordered closed in New York, many parts of New Jersey, Boston and elsewhere in the region
  • Temperatures are expected to stay well below freezing throughout the weekend, with parts of New England registering temperatures colder than Mars
  • On Thursday, New York Gov Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for several counties
  • Meanwhile, Florida, Georgia and SC continue to dig out of the rare winter storm that hit them Wednesday

By Valerie Edwards and Ashley Collman For Dailymail.com and Associated Press and Reuters

Published: 08:45 EST, 4 January 2018 | Updated: 22:35 EST, 4 January 2018

Boston experienced historic flooding on Thursday, as a 'bomb cyclone' winter storm hit the Northeast, bringing heavy snow, winds and storm surge.

Meteorologists said Boston was unofficially nearing a water level record set during the Blizzard of 1978.

Matt Doody, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton, told the Boston Herald that the Weather Service couldn't 'officially' call it a new record, but the water was hovering around the 15.1 foot mark set during the historic storm 40 years ago.

The system is also very similar to a storm that hit the Northeast on the exact same day in 1989, according to the Weather Service.

At least a dozen people have been rescued from flooded homes in Marshfield, and a handful of others were rescued from cars under water in the South Shore region of Massachusetts.

'It's up over the roof of cars. It's up over four feet,' Deputy Fire Chief Louis Cipullo said of the floodwaters in the area.

The nor'easter threatened to dump as much as 18 inches of snow from the Carolinas to Maine – causing schools and office to close and thousands of flights to be cancelled.

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Many businesses were flooded during storm surge high tide, in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday 

Many businesses were flooded during storm surge high tide, in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday

The snowstorm is causing massive flooding in Boston and outlying towns. Above, a car in floodwaters in Boston on Thursday The snowstorm is causing massive flooding in Boston and outlying towns. Above, a car in floodwaters in Boston on Thursday 

The snowstorm is causing massive flooding in Boston and outlying towns. Above, a car in floodwaters in Boston on Thursday

Above, more cars in floodwaters in Boston on Thursday Above, more cars in floodwaters in Boston on Thursday 

Above, more cars in floodwaters in Boston on Thursday

A woman watches as ocean waves overtop the seawall during a winter snow storm in the Boston suburb of Lynn, Massachusetts on Thursday A woman watches as ocean waves overtop the seawall during a winter snow storm in the Boston suburb of Lynn, Massachusetts on Thursday 

A woman watches as ocean waves overtop the seawall during a winter snow storm in the Boston suburb of Lynn, Massachusetts on Thursday

Firefighter Justin Plaza pulls a rescued motorist to dry land, in Boston, Massachusetts on ThursdayFirefighter Justin Plaza pulls a rescued motorist to dry land, in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday

Firefighter Justin Plaza pulls a rescued motorist to dry land, in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday

The floodwaters were thigh-deep on this stretch of road in Boston on Thursday

Firefighter's on dry land help man out of zodiac boat, in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday Firefighter's on dry land help man out of zodiac boat, in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday 

Firefighter's on dry land help man out of zodiac boat, in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday

Forecasters expected the system to be followed immediately by a blast of face-stinging cold air that could break records in more than two dozen cities, with wind chills falling to minus 40 in some places this weekend.

Blizzard warnings and states of emergency were in wide effect, and wind gusts hit up to 76mph in some places. Eastern Massachusetts and most of Rhode Island braced for snow falling as fast as thre inches per hour.

The storm was powered by a rapid plunge in barometric pressure that some weather forecasters were referring to as bombogenesis or a 'bomb cyclone' and which brought fast, heavy snowfall and high winds.

Boston's fire department shared an image on Twitter of crew members saving a man whose car was floating in the ice water.

The Boston Fire Department shared an image on Twitter of crew members saving a man whose car was floating in the ice waterThe Boston Fire Department shared an image on Twitter of crew members saving a man whose car was floating in the ice water

The Boston Fire Department shared an image on Twitter of crew members saving a man whose car was floating in the ice water

'Firefighters come to the rescue of an adult male trapped by rising water,' the dept. tweeted. 'The firefighters… bringing the driver to safety. Please avoid these dangerously high waters.' The first responders were then seen carrying the man (pictured) to safety'Firefighters come to the rescue of an adult male trapped by rising water,' the dept. tweeted. 'The firefighters… bringing the driver to safety. Please avoid these dangerously high waters.' The first responders were then seen carrying the man (pictured) to safety

'Firefighters come to the rescue of an adult male trapped by rising water,' the dept. tweeted. 'The firefighters… bringing the driver to safety. Please avoid these dangerously high waters.' The first responders were then seen carrying the man (pictured) to safety

The intense flooding trapped some Boston residents inside buildingsThe intense flooding trapped some Boston residents inside buildingsMeanwhile one video showed the moment a garbage bin was knocked over as trash was washed down the street by floodwaters in BostonMeanwhile one video showed the moment a garbage bin was knocked over as trash was washed down the street by floodwaters in Boston

The intense flooding (left) trapped some Boston residents inside buildings. Meanwhile one video showed the moment a garbage bin was knocked over as trash was washed down the street by floodwaters in Boston

'Firefighters come to the rescue of an adult male trapped by rising water,' the dept. tweeted. 'The firefighters… bringing the driver to safety. Please avoid these dangerously high waters.'

The first responders were then seen carrying the man to safety.

One Boston resident shared a Snapchat video of someone rowing through their icy street with a kayak.

The video was captioned: 'Cai has fled the scene via kyak.'

Mayor Marty Walsh warned people early on Thursday to stay off the highways as the storm hit the city.

'There continue to be too many cars on Boston's roadways. If you're not a plow or emergency vehicle, get off the roads. Crews are doing there best to clear the snow but there are still too many cars on the roads,' the mayor said in a tweet.

Meanwhile another video showed the moment a garbage bin was knocked over as trash was washed down the street by floodwaters in Boston.

One Boston resident shared a Snapchat video of someone rowing through their icy street with a kayakOne Boston resident shared a Snapchat video of someone rowing through their icy street with a kayakThe video was captioned: 'Cai has fled the scene via kyak'The video was captioned: 'Cai has fled the scene via kyak'

One Boston resident shared a Snapchat video of someone rowing through their icy street with a kayak. The video was captioned: 'Cai has fled the scene via kyak'

Drivers make their way along the flooded Beach Road after the ocean overtopped the seawall during a winter snowstorm in the Boston suburb of Lynn, Massachusetts on Thursday Drivers make their way along the flooded Beach Road after the ocean overtopped the seawall during a winter snowstorm in the Boston suburb of Lynn, Massachusetts on Thursday 

Drivers make their way along the flooded Beach Road after the ocean overtopped the seawall during a winter snowstorm in the Boston suburb of Lynn, Massachusetts on Thursday

Boston firefighters wade through a street flooded from tidal surge during Storm Grayson in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., January 4, 2018Boston firefighters wade through a street flooded from tidal surge during Storm Grayson in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., January 4, 2018

Boston firefighters wade through a street flooded from tidal surge during Storm Grayson in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., January 4, 2018

Boston firefighters work at the scene of flooding from Boston Harbor on Long Wharf in Boston on ThursdayBoston firefighters work at the scene of flooding from Boston Harbor on Long Wharf in Boston on Thursday

Boston firefighters work at the scene of flooding from Boston Harbor on Long Wharf in Boston on Thursday

The Weather Channel on-camera meteorologist Jim Cantore stands at the Sandy Bay Yacht club as he reports on severe weather in Rockport, Massachusetts The Weather Channel on-camera meteorologist Jim Cantore stands at the Sandy Bay Yacht club as he reports on severe weather in Rockport, Massachusetts 

The Weather Channel on-camera meteorologist Jim Cantore stands at the Sandy Bay Yacht club as he reports on severe weather in Rockport, Massachusetts

Lighthouse Road in Scituate, Massachusetts begins to flood as a massive winter storm begins to bear down on the region on ThursdayLighthouse Road in Scituate, Massachusetts begins to flood as a massive winter storm begins to bear down on the region on Thursday

Lighthouse Road in Scituate, Massachusetts begins to flood as a massive winter storm begins to bear down on the region on Thursday

A wave crashes over homes on Lighthouse Rd. in Scituate, Massachusetts on Thursday as a massive winter storm begins to bear down on the regionA wave crashes over homes on Lighthouse Rd. in Scituate, Massachusetts on Thursday as a massive winter storm begins to bear down on the region

A wave crashes over homes on Lighthouse Rd. in Scituate, Massachusetts on Thursday as a massive winter storm begins to bear down on the region

Above, another view of water crashing over homes in Scituate, Massachusetts on Thursday Above, another view of water crashing over homes in Scituate, Massachusetts on Thursday 

Above, another view of water crashing over homes in Scituate, Massachusetts on Thursday

JetBlue airplanes wait at the gates outside terminal five at John F. Kennedy International Airport on ThursdayJetBlue airplanes wait at the gates outside terminal five at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday

JetBlue airplanes wait at the gates outside terminal five at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday

A general view of the departures drop-off area at JetBlue, Terminal five, at John F. Kennedy International Airport on ThursdayA general view of the departures drop-off area at JetBlue, Terminal five, at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday

A general view of the departures drop-off area at JetBlue, Terminal five, at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday

Travelers wait inside terminal five at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday. Flights in and out of the airport were suspended during the stormTravelers wait inside terminal five at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday. Flights in and out of the airport were suspended during the storm

Travelers wait inside terminal five at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday. Flights in and out of the airport were suspended during the storm

The storm has been blamed for at least six deaths so far.

Three people were killed in North Carolina after their vehicles ran off snow-covered roads, authorities said. A fourth person died in South Carolina.

Two others were killed in Virginia – one a 75-year-old man who was killed by a snow plow while clearing snow from a business parking lot in Hampton.

CURRENT SNOWFALL TOTALS
CITY INCHES
NEW YORK, NY 9
NEWARK, NJ 6.6
ISLIP, NY 13.6
BRIDGEPORT, CT 8.0
NEW BRITAIN, CT 5.5
WESTERLY, RI 11.2
EAST PROVIDENCE, RI 10.4
BOSTON, MA 6.5
PORTLAND, ME 4.3

The other Virginian killed was a young girl who was run over while sledding down her street.

In New Jersey, Orlando Igmat's car got stuck in a snowbank along the Garden State Parkway in Tinton Falls as he drove to work at Verizon. He waited a half hour for a tow truck to pull him out.

'I didn't expect it (the storm) was going to be a heavy one. That's why I went to work today. I'm going to stay in a hotel tonight,' he said.

Gale-force winds destroyed the roof of a New Jersey gas station on Thursday.

Video of the incident showed the canopy of the Delta gas station on River Drive in Garfield, New Jersey, tip over around 2pm.

First responders had cut the power and cleared all people out of the station when the top finally blew off.

The risk of power outages raised concerns about people going without heat. More than 100 warming centers were open in 34 towns across Connecticut, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Schools were ordered closed in New York City, many parts of New Jersey, Boston and elsewhere throughout the region.

While kids stayed home, many parents still had to go into work.

Commuters who braved the storm in the morning worried that they could be stranded during the storm's peak expected later in the day.

'I don't know where I'll stay tonight if I get stuck, probably with my boss,' said Ran Richardson, 55, of Malden, Massachusetts, as he waited for a Boston subway to take him to training for his job as a Chinese-English translator.

As of 5pm, the winds had died down considerable. Earlier in the day, there were gusts as high as 76mph in parts of Massachusetts As of 5pm, the winds had died down considerable. Earlier in the day, there were gusts as high as 76mph in parts of Massachusetts 

As of 5pm, the winds had died down considerable. Earlier in the day, there were gusts as high as 76mph in parts of Massachusetts

The worst of the snowfall is expected in northern Maine. New York City will get eight inches, which is enough to cause traffic chaos in the major metropolitan areaThe worst of the snowfall is expected in northern Maine. New York City will get eight inches, which is enough to cause traffic chaos in the major metropolitan area

The worst of the snowfall is expected in northern Maine. New York City will get eight inches, which is enough to cause traffic chaos in the major metropolitan area

A rapid drop in pressure caused by a 'bomb cyclone' off the coast of the Northeast is causing the heavy snow and windsA rapid drop in pressure caused by a 'bomb cyclone' off the coast of the Northeast is causing the heavy snow and winds

A rapid drop in pressure caused by a 'bomb cyclone' off the coast of the Northeast is causing the heavy snow and winds

 The highest winds are expected in coastal New England, specifically Boston and Cape Cod  The highest winds are expected in coastal New England, specifically Boston and Cape Cod 

The highest winds are expected in coastal New England, specifically Boston and Cape Cod

Temperatures will be remain well below freezing throughout the day all over New England Temperatures will be remain well below freezing throughout the day all over New England 

Temperatures will be remain well below freezing throughout the day all over New England

Even after the snow is expected to stop, it will get even colder in the Northeast tomorrow, making clean-up almost impossibleEven after the snow is expected to stop, it will get even colder in the Northeast tomorrow, making clean-up almost impossible

Even after the snow is expected to stop, it will get even colder in the Northeast tomorrow, making clean-up almost impossible

Above are the current winter storm warnings throughout the region. The coastal areas are currently under blizzard warningsAbove are the current winter storm warnings throughout the region. The coastal areas are currently under blizzard warnings

Above are the current winter storm warnings throughout the region. The coastal areas are currently under blizzard warnings

Most of today's flight cancellations are centered in the New York City area. Newark Liberty in New Jersey has the most cancellations of any airport, followed by Chicago, JFK, Atlanta and LaGuardiaMost of today's flight cancellations are centered in the New York City area. Newark Liberty in New Jersey has the most cancellations of any airport, followed by Chicago, JFK, Atlanta and LaGuardia

Most of today's flight cancellations are centered in the New York City area. Newark Liberty in New Jersey has the most cancellations of any airport, followed by Chicago, JFK, Atlanta and LaGuardia

A satellite image shows the blizzard battering the Northeast, and snow still on the ground in the coastal Southeast A satellite image shows the blizzard battering the Northeast, and snow still on the ground in the coastal Southeast 

A satellite image shows the blizzard battering the Northeast, and snow still on the ground in the coastal Southeast

NASA released maps on Thursday showing how unusually cold the U.S. is currently NASA released maps on Thursday showing how unusually cold the U.S. is currently 

NASA released maps on Thursday showing how unusually cold the U.S. is currently

They also released a map comparing the weather in the U.S. to around the world They also released a map comparing the weather in the U.S. to around the world 

They also released a map comparing the weather in the U.S. to around the world

The National Weather Service received multiple reports of coastal flooding in Massachusetts that made roads impassable.

On Plum Island, Massachusetts, residents were evacuated when a road connecting the island to Newburyport washed out. Residents were evacuated with a National Guard high-water vehicle.

Seawater was seen rising near buildings in downtown Boston and the suburb of Lynn. One video shows floodwaters carrying a car down the street in the Seaport neighborhood of Boston.

In the district, Joe Weatherly, a 40-year-old artist from Los Angeles, held his Boston terrier while searching for a seafood restaurant. Part of the district was flooded.

'For someone in California, this is really, really scary. Mind blowing,' he said. 'We don't live in a state where things shut down with the weather. I've just never seen this much snow in my life.'

On Plum Island, Massachusetts, residents were evacuated when a road connecting the island to Newburyport washed outOn Plum Island, Massachusetts, residents were evacuated when a road connecting the island to Newburyport washed outResidents were evacuated with a National Guard high-water vehicleResidents were evacuated with a National Guard high-water vehicle

On Plum Island, Massachusetts (left and right), residents were evacuated when a road connecting the island to Newburyport washed out. Residents were evacuated with a National Guard high-water vehicle

There was also significant flooding around the Plum Island BeachcomaThere was also significant flooding around the Plum Island Beachcoma

There was also significant flooding around the Plum Island Beachcoma

A seawall may have given way on Front Street in Scituate, Massachusetts, while roads were reported as flooded and impassable in Gloucester.

'Our crews are working tirelessly across #Boston to clear the snow & keep people safe. Please stay off the roads at all costs, do not hinder snow removal efforts. Extra ambulances have been deployed along with increased @Boston_EMS staffing,' the city of Boston said on Twitter.

First-responders in Boston used rubber rescue boats to help people trapped on State and Atlantic streets near the aquarium, according to the Boston Herald.

Cars in the city were also trapped in the icy mess with flooding reported on Causeway Street, Lawley Street, Morrissey Boulevard and Seaport Boulevard.

Some 65,000 homes and businesses in the Northeast were without power, though that number was expected to rise as the storm intensified across the region.

More than 5,500 homes and businesses lost power Thursday morning in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on the outermost tip of Cape Cod, which was being lashed with hurricane-force wind gusts, the Eversource electric utility said. Much of that power was restored by early afternoon.

In Maine, the problem was a shortage of drivers to deliver heating fuel. Small independent fuel merchants in particular were overwhelmed by customers who do not have automatic refill service, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Yellow taxi cabs make their way through a snow-covered Times Square on Thursday

People make their way in Times Square during a winter storm in New York on January 4, 2018.  The US National Weather Service warned that a major winter storm would bring heavy snow and ice, from Florida in the southeast up to New England and the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty ImagesPeople make their way in Times Square during a winter storm in New York on January 4, 2018.  The US National Weather Service warned that a major winter storm would bring heavy snow and ice, from Florida in the southeast up to New England and the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The US National Weather Service warned that a major winter storm would bring heavy snow and ice, from Florida in the southeast up to New England and the Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday. Above, another view of Times Square on Thursday

A woman wears ski glasses as she walks through the snow toward the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway station during the morning commute on Thursday in Brooklyn, New YorkA woman wears ski glasses as she walks through the snow toward the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway station during the morning commute on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York

A woman wears ski glasses as she walks through the snow toward the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway station during the morning commute on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York

A vehicle, right, driven by Orlando Igmat, of New Milford, New Jersey, sits in a snowbank after skidding off the Garden State Parkway on his way to work during a snowstorm on Thursday in Tinton Falls, New JerseyA vehicle, right, driven by Orlando Igmat, of New Milford, New Jersey, sits in a snowbank after skidding off the Garden State Parkway on his way to work during a snowstorm on Thursday in Tinton Falls, New Jersey

A vehicle, right, driven by Orlando Igmat, of New Milford, New Jersey, sits in a snowbank after skidding off the Garden State Parkway on his way to work during a snowstorm on Thursday in Tinton Falls, New Jersey

Above, a view from the Statue of Liberty's torch as the snow storm started Thursday morning Above, a view from the Statue of Liberty's torch as the snow storm started Thursday morning 

Above, a view from the Statue of Liberty's torch as the snow storm started Thursday morning

Pedestrians make their way across a plaza as strong winds blow the snow horizontally outside the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018Pedestrians make their way across a plaza as strong winds blow the snow horizontally outside the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018

Pedestrians make their way across a plaza as strong winds blow the snow horizontally outside the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018

A handout photo made available by the Charleston International Airport on Thursday shows the effects of a rare snowfall at the airportA handout photo made available by the Charleston International Airport on Thursday shows the effects of a rare snowfall at the airport

A handout photo made available by the Charleston International Airport on Thursday shows the effects of a rare snowfall at the airport

Crews clear snow from around the gates at Logan International Airport during a winter snow storm in Boston on ThursdayCrews clear snow from around the gates at Logan International Airport during a winter snow storm in Boston on Thursday

Crews clear snow from around the gates at Logan International Airport during a winter snow storm in Boston on Thursday

A notice board shows cancelled flights at Logan International Airport during a winter snow storm in Boston on ThursdayA notice board shows cancelled flights at Logan International Airport during a winter snow storm in Boston on Thursday

A notice board shows cancelled flights at Logan International Airport during a winter snow storm in Boston on Thursday

Da Thi Hoang and Searidang Pa wait at Logan International Airport, after successfully flying in from Los Angeles only to find their bus to Middlebury, Vermont was cancelled, during a winter snow storm in Boston on ThursdayDa Thi Hoang and Searidang Pa wait at Logan International Airport, after successfully flying in from Los Angeles only to find their bus to Middlebury, Vermont was cancelled, during a winter snow storm in Boston on Thursday

Da Thi Hoang and Searidang Pa wait at Logan International Airport, after successfully flying in from Los Angeles only to find their bus to Middlebury, Vermont was cancelled, during a winter snow storm in Boston on Thursday

A man shovels snow as traffic makes it's way through the Upper East Side of Manhattan on ThursdayA man shovels snow as traffic makes it's way through the Upper East Side of Manhattan on Thursday

A man shovels snow as traffic makes it's way through the Upper East Side of Manhattan on Thursday

Traffic makes it's way across 42nd Street as taxi cabs wait for passengers outside Grand Central Terminal on Thursday in New York Traffic makes it's way across 42nd Street as taxi cabs wait for passengers outside Grand Central Terminal on Thursday in New York 

Traffic makes it's way across 42nd Street as taxi cabs wait for passengers outside Grand Central Terminal on Thursday in New York

Two young men who wished not to be identified, try to get their car unstuck after a storm passed the area on Thursday in Rehoboth Beach, DelawareTwo young men who wished not to be identified, try to get their car unstuck after a storm passed the area on Thursday in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Two young men who wished not to be identified, try to get their car unstuck after a storm passed the area on Thursday in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Parked vehicles along Newport Ave. in Norfolk, Virginia are covered in snow on ThursdayParked vehicles along Newport Ave. in Norfolk, Virginia are covered in snow on Thursday

Parked vehicles along Newport Ave. in Norfolk, Virginia are covered in snow on Thursday

A DelDot truck plows snow along Delaware Route 1 in Rehoboth, Delaware on ThursdayA DelDot truck plows snow along Delaware Route 1 in Rehoboth, Delaware on Thursday

A DelDot truck plows snow along Delaware Route 1 in Rehoboth, Delaware on Thursday

The Holland Tunnel entrance sign advises 'Avoid Unnecessary Travel' on Thursday in New York City The Holland Tunnel entrance sign advises 'Avoid Unnecessary Travel' on Thursday in New York City 

The Holland Tunnel entrance sign advises 'Avoid Unnecessary Travel' on Thursday in New York City

Snow falls over the Atlantic ocean at Bellport Marina as a blizzard hits the Northeast on ThursdaySnow falls over the Atlantic ocean at Bellport Marina as a blizzard hits the Northeast on Thursday

Snow falls over the Atlantic ocean at Bellport Marina as a blizzard hits the Northeast on Thursday

A woman makes her way along an above-ground Subway platform in Brooklyn on ThursdayA woman makes her way along an above-ground Subway platform in Brooklyn on ThursdayA man uses a walker to get through snow elsewhere in the boroughA man uses a walker to get through snow elsewhere in the borough

A woman makes her way along an above-ground Subway platform in Brooklyn on Thursday, left, while a man uses a walker to get through snow elsewhere in the borough, right

Linda Heuman and Amy Remensnyder were supposed to fly to Berlin on Thursday, but the flight was canceled. That left them stuck in their home in Providence, Rhode Island, with no food. So they trekked through the snow to a grocery store nearly a mile away.

Their plans for the rest of the day were simple: Make soup, do some desk work and maybe watch a movie with popcorn, Remensnyder said.

Schools, businesses and ferry services in parts of Atlantic Canada were also shut down. Nova Scotia Power said it had more than 1,000 people at the ready in its biggest-ever pre-storm mobilization of personnel and resources.

Wind gusts strong enough to topple trees and power lines were predicted in the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes parts of Delaware, Virginia and Maryland; coastal New Jersey; eastern Long Island, New York; and coastal eastern New England.

More than two-thirds of flights in and out of New York City and Boston airports were canceled. The flight-tracking site FlightAware reported more than 4,000 flights cancelled in and our of the US.

The conditions were so bad in New York City that all flights in and our of JFK and LaGuardia airports were suspended during the storm.

More than 13,000 flights were delayed in the Northeast and more than 2,000 were delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Thursday. There have been 6,000 flight cancellations in the Northeast alone.

Rail service was affected too. Amtrak planned to operate a modified schedule between New York and Boston on Thursday. Northeast Regional Service between Washington, DC, and Newport News/Norfolk, Virginia, was canceled for Thursday.

It wasn't a good day for views at the Empire State Building, what with the whiteout conditionsIt wasn't a good day for views at the Empire State Building, what with the whiteout conditionsWhite conditions at the Empire State BuildingWhite conditions at the Empire State Building

It wasn't a good day for views at the Empire State Building, what with the whiteout conditions

NYPD police officers chat on a snow-covered Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York. The snow conditions are so severe that Manhattan is not even visible on the other side of the bridgeNYPD police officers chat on a snow-covered Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York. The snow conditions are so severe that Manhattan is not even visible on the other side of the bridge

NYPD police officers chat on a snow-covered Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York. The snow conditions are so severe that Manhattan is not even visible on the other side of the bridge

A snow plow clears snow off Broadway in New York's Times Square on ThursdayA snow plow clears snow off Broadway in New York's Times Square on Thursday

A snow plow clears snow off Broadway in New York's Times Square on Thursday

Cars enter the Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York during a snow storm Cars enter the Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York during a snow storm 

Cars enter the Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York during a snow storm

A ferry sails through whiteout conditions near Battery Park in lower Manhattan on ThursdayA ferry sails through whiteout conditions near Battery Park in lower Manhattan on Thursday

A ferry sails through whiteout conditions near Battery Park in lower Manhattan on Thursday

People walk through a snowstorm as they exit the Oculus at the Fulton Street transit hub beneath the World Trade Center in New York on ThursdayPeople walk through a snowstorm as they exit the Oculus at the Fulton Street transit hub beneath the World Trade Center in New York on Thursday

People walk through a snowstorm as they exit the Oculus at the Fulton Street transit hub beneath the World Trade Center in New York on Thursday

A man walks past snow plows as he makes his way toward the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway station in Brooklyn on ThursdayA man walks past snow plows as he makes his way toward the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway station in Brooklyn on Thursday

A man walks past snow plows as he makes his way toward the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway station in Brooklyn on Thursday

Children play in the snow in front of the New York Stock Exchange during a snowstorm in New York on Thursday Children play in the snow in front of the New York Stock Exchange during a snowstorm in New York on Thursday 

Children play in the snow in front of the New York Stock Exchange during a snowstorm in New York on Thursday

Washington DC Fire and Rescue practice their ice and water rescues in the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial on ThursdayWashington DC Fire and Rescue practice their ice and water rescues in the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial on Thursday

Washington DC Fire and Rescue practice their ice and water rescues in the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial on Thursday

A nearly empty snow-covered roadway entrance to the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York is seen during a snowstorm in Fort Lee, New Jersey on ThursdayA nearly empty snow-covered roadway entrance to the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York is seen during a snowstorm in Fort Lee, New Jersey on Thursday

A nearly empty snow-covered roadway entrance to the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York is seen during a snowstorm in Fort Lee, New Jersey on Thursday

Capitol Hill is seen with a dusting of snow compared to more brutal weather along the Mid-Atlantic coast on ThursdayCapitol Hill is seen with a dusting of snow compared to more brutal weather along the Mid-Atlantic coast on Thursday

Capitol Hill is seen with a dusting of snow compared to more brutal weather along the Mid-Atlantic coast on Thursday

This aerial photograph shows snow in Washington,DC with the Washington Memorial Monument in the distance on Thursday This aerial photograph shows snow in Washington,DC with the Washington Memorial Monument in the distance on Thursday 

This aerial photograph shows snow in Washington,DC with the Washington Memorial Monument in the distance on Thursday

People make their way during a winter storm in New York on Thursday. Meanwhile, children in the city stayed home due to a snow dayPeople make their way during a winter storm in New York on Thursday. Meanwhile, children in the city stayed home due to a snow day

People make their way during a winter storm in New York on Thursday. Meanwhile, children in the city stayed home due to a snow day

An elderly woman makes her way through Times Square during a winter storm in New York on ThursdayAn elderly woman makes her way through Times Square during a winter storm in New York on Thursday

An elderly woman makes her way through Times Square during a winter storm in New York on Thursday

The storm shut down much of eastern Virginia, but some people took it in stride.

Mark Schoenenberger, a 45-year-old NASA engineer who lives in Norfolk, Virginia, put on his cross country skis so he could make a half hour trip to the bagel shop for some breakfast for his family.

'It's like 'Yay, I get to go out,' he said.

The only concern he seemed to have was telecommuting while his kids were home from school. But 'it's just noise,' he said.

Waiting just behind the she storm was a wave of bracing cold.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Dan Peterson said record low temperatures were predicted for 28 major cities across New England, eastern New York and the mid-Atlantic states by dawn Sunday.

Many places in New England will be colder than Mars on Friday. Today, the high on the Red Planet is -11 degrees. In Mount Washington, New Hampshire tomorrow, temperatures will only reach a high of -16.

Officials reported road accidents throughout the Northeast, including in Manchester, New Hampshire, where a 32-year-old woman crashed a vehicle through the wall of a nursing home. No one was injured in that incident.

Boston expected a low around minus 11 overnight Saturday into Sunday. Portland, Maine, and Burlington, Vermont, could see minus 16 and 19, respectively, the weather service said.

White-out conditions are seen in Hull, Massachusetts on Thursday. Hull is located on narrow peninsula that extends into Boston Harbor and often bares the brunt of winter storms that hit the areaWhite-out conditions are seen in Hull, Massachusetts on Thursday. Hull is located on narrow peninsula that extends into Boston Harbor and often bares the brunt of winter storms that hit the area

White-out conditions are seen in Hull, Massachusetts on Thursday. Hull is located on narrow peninsula that extends into Boston Harbor and often bares the brunt of winter storms that hit the area

Deep sea fishing and scallop boats docked at the Fish pier in Boston, Massachusetts on ThursdayDeep sea fishing and scallop boats docked at the Fish pier in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday

Deep sea fishing and scallop boats docked at the Fish pier in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday

A news crew readies for a live shot in Copley square in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday A news crew readies for a live shot in Copley square in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday 

A news crew readies for a live shot in Copley square in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday

People walk  through the streets of Boston as snow falls from a massive winter storm on Thursday People walk  through the streets of Boston as snow falls from a massive winter storm on Thursday 

People walk through the streets of Boston as snow falls from a massive winter storm on Thursday

Residents in Brooklyn brave heavy snowfall from Winter Storm Grayson on Thursday Residents in Brooklyn brave heavy snowfall from Winter Storm Grayson on Thursday 

Residents in Brooklyn brave heavy snowfall from Winter Storm Grayson on Thursday

Steve McCarthy weathers the wind and snow as he strolls up North Main Street in Attleboro, Massachusetts on ThursdaySteve McCarthy weathers the wind and snow as he strolls up North Main Street in Attleboro, Massachusetts on ThursdayA jogger runs across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City on ThursdayA jogger runs across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City on Thursday

Left: Steve McCarthy weathers the wind and snow as he strolls up North Main Street in Attleboro, Massachusetts on Thursday. Right: A jogger runs across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City on Thursday

A snow plough removes snow from the sidewalks in Times Square in below freezing temperatures in New York City on ThursdayA snow plough removes snow from the sidewalks in Times Square in below freezing temperatures in New York City on Thursday

A snow plough removes snow from the sidewalks in Times Square in below freezing temperatures in New York City on Thursday

People walk along a frozen Potomac River during a snow storm in Washington, DC on Thursday People walk along a frozen Potomac River during a snow storm in Washington, DC on Thursday 

People walk along a frozen Potomac River during a snow storm in Washington, DC on Thursday

A homeless man sits on a steam grate for warmth alongside the National Mall during a snow storm in Washington, DC on ThursdayA homeless man sits on a steam grate for warmth alongside the National Mall during a snow storm in Washington, DC on Thursday

A homeless man sits on a steam grate for warmth alongside the National Mall during a snow storm in Washington, DC on Thursday

Freezing conditions in Buffalo, New York have caused water to freeze and turn into powdery ice crystals as it runs over Niagara FallsFreezing conditions in Buffalo, New York have caused water to freeze and turn into powdery ice crystals as it runs over Niagara Falls

Freezing conditions in Buffalo, New York have caused water to freeze and turn into powdery ice crystals as it runs over Niagara Falls

State and local officials urged people to stay home so crews could clear streets and roads of snow. There were concerns in Boston and elsewhere that if roads were not properly cleared, they could freeze into cement-like ice after the cold blast arrives.

In other areas, plummeting temperatures had already caused water mains to burst. Jackson, Mississippi, was under a precautionary boil-water notice after pipes failed. Portable toilets were placed outside the state Capitol because some of the toilets would not flush.

The massive storm began two days ago in the Gulf of Mexico and first struck the Florida Panhandle.

It was so cold in South Florida that iguanas fell from their perches in trees in suburban Miami. The reptiles became immobile when temperatures dipped below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

In Charleston, South Carolina, five inches of snow was enough for Chris Monoc's sons, ages four and two, to go sledding.

'They probably will be teenagers the next time something like this happens,' Monoc said.

FIVE-DAY NATIONAL WEATHER FORECAST

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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