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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Sunday, January 21, 2018

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Monster storm places 18 million people under blizzard warning: Five cities declare state of emergency

Thousands of flights cancelled

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NEW YORK, U.S. - A Northeast snowstorm has reportedly placed about 18 million people under a blizzard warning - leading to normal life being disrupted in many pockets of the country.> BNN

The Nor'easter led to over 7,800 U.S. flights being cancelled between Monday and Wednesday, with millions of people being under a winter storm warning.

A state of emergency was declared in Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and thousands of schools and government offices in Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City remained closed.

According to reports, winter storm warnings and watches were hoisted over a region stretching from Ohio and West Virginia into Maine.

In the region, both, local and state authorities warned residents to be prepared.

With winds set to hit 50 mph to 60 mph in some coastal areas, residents were also adviced against travel as visibility is set to reduce to zero.

A blizzard warning was in effect from Tuesday morning for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, upstate New York and the six New England states.

The warning cautioned that high winds will combine with snow for poor visibility.

The blizzard warning was subsequently cancelled for New York City.

The heaviest snow, more than 2 feet, was reportedly expected to hit northeastern Pennsylvania, New York's Hudson Valley and parts of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Washington DC up through Philadelphia, and New York City witnessed snowfall on Tuesday morning. 

Further, Amtrak suspended Northeast Regional service between New York City and Boston and Empire Service between New York City and Albany, New York.

The National Weather Service said that parts of New York City, Long Island and southern Connecticut could also experience minor to moderate coastal flooding around high tide on Tuesday afternoon.

Philadelphia is expected to get as much as 10 inches of snow in the afternoon and into Wednesday, with wind gusts of up to 40 mph.

Further, reports noted that 24 inches or more of snow, along with powerful winds are also expected in parts of western Massachusetts.

The coastal region of the state could get high storm surges, and wind gusts of up to 60 mph.

Boston is expected to get as much as 12 inches of snow and sleet, followed by rain and sleet. 

Connecticut issued a statewide ban on highway travel on Tuesday, while in Virginia, the Coast Guard closed the Port of Virginia on the harbor at Hampton Roads. 

President Donald Trump tweeted, “Everyone along the east coast be safe and listen to local officials as a major winter storm approaches.”

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said that employees were being given the option of taking unscheduled leave or teleworking.

Downed power lines and service interruptions too are expected in the affected regions - with over 50,000 customers already in the dark in Virginia and Maryland officials reporting about 30,000 outages. 

Thousands more were reported in Delaware, New Jersey and around Philadelphia.

So far, two people have died in Wisconsin.

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