Heavy snow continued to fall Thursday across the Northeast as the season’s first major winter storm slowly moved off the East Coast, pounding some areas with nearly 4 feet of snow.
At least four people have been reported killed by the storm. Hundreds of vehicle crashes, some of them deadly, were reported from the mid-Atlantic states into the Northeast, the Weather Channel said.
More than 50,000 customers were without electricity Thursday afternoon, Poweroutage.us said, mainly in Virginia and New York state.
Interior areas of Pennsylvania and New York state took the brunt of the heavy snow, where many towns picked up over 40 inches. The highest total recorded so far was the 44 inches reported in Newark Valley, New York, a tiny village about 10 miles from Binghamton, New York.
The city of Binghamton had officially seen a whopping 39.6 inches as of midday Thursday, though other measurements around the city were as high as 42 inches. Flabbergasted residents of the region were digging out, either by snowblower, snowplow or shovel. Or, they were waiting inside their homes waiting for the snow to stop.
A National Weather Service spokesperson said the storm set a new two-day snowfall record in Binghamton. The previous record was recorded March 2017 with 35.3 inches. Weather Service meteorologist Lily Chapman called the snow amounts around Binghamton “overwhelming,” according to the Capital Weather Gang.
In nearby Ithaca, New York, it took Fred Cullin, 23, more than an hour and a half to dig his way out of his steep, lakeside driveway that was packed with nearly 3 feet of snow piled up by plows.
“It was pretty crazy,” Cullin said. “Shoveling uphill, on ice, was definitely interesting.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a state of emergency in 18 counties due to the winter storm.
New York City had picked up 10 inches as of 10 a.m. ET, the city’s heaviest snowfall in three years, creating widespread travel troubles across the metro area.
While many New Yorkers took a snow day, Muhammad arose before dawn in his apartment in Manhattan’s uptown Harlem neighborhood and took the subway to his newsstand on East 23rd Street. “People want their Lotto tickets, they want their newspaper. I’m here,” he said as audio of the Muslim call to prayer played softly inside his roughly 10-foot-by-10-foot store. “I’m always here.”
Some outdoor dining spots built in New York City streets during the COVID-19 pandemic survived the December snowstorm. Others did not.
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Barbara Paddock of the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan arrived at Grand Central Station at 8 a.m. Thursday carrying a pair of cross-country ski poles caked in snow. On her feet, she wore duck boots sheathed in spiky crampons.
Her walk from home to the station took just a few blocks. But she was glad she came prepared. “It’s crazy out there! I could barely walk,” Paddock said. “They call New York the city that never sleeps. Now it’s the city that never wakes up!
Snow was still falling across much of New England, where up to a foot was possible in Boston. Snow will continue throughout the day and gradually come to an end from west to east by tonight, the Weather Service said. Additional snowfall totals across portions of New England are forecast to add 6 to 12 inches on top of what has already fallen.
Also, as temperatures dipped well below freezing throughout the northern mid-Atlantic and Northeast, re-freezes and areas of black ice were likely through the day and into the night.
A crash in Pennsylvania killed two people and involved dozens of vehicles on a major highway Wednesday afternoon, police said, while issuing a reminder to only travel if “absolutely necessary.”
And a western Pennsylvania man was killed when he was struck by a snow plow. According to authorities, John Vichie, 63, of North Versailles, was walking with a snow blower when he was hit just after sunset Wednesday by a public works truck that was backing up.
Another man in Kansas was killed in a snow-related head-on collision Tuesday when the storm was over the central U.S.
The Weather Channel is calling the storm “Winter Storm Gail,” though no other forecasting companies nor the Weather Service uses the name.
Contributing: Kevin McCoy and Christopher Maag, USA TODAY; The Associated Press; The Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
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