- By Sean Fox
The massive snow storm which shut down New York and Washington as well as much of the Eastern coast line on Saturday creating 11 states of emergency declared across the region is reported to be crossing the Atlantic
The worst blizzard on record since Abraham Lincoln was running for presidency one and a half centuries ago buried much of the Eastern-USA over the weekend claiming at least 19 lives, creating 11 states of emergency and shutting down half of one of the world’s largest nations. It is now believed that the very same storm system is heading across the Atlantic, triggering fears of more server flooding as the storm brings heavy rains, string winds and freezing conditions with it. Severe weather warnings have been issued by the Met Office for much of Wales, north west England and the West of Scotland.
In the US the storm wrought havoc on much of the Eastern seaboard, bringing major cities to a halt and leading to the cancellation of thousands of flights.
The heavy snow brought the capital, Washington DC to a standstill and saw drivers ordered off the roads in New York City and Long Island.
A total of 11 states declared a state of emergency and with winds still battering the coast, there are growing fears that the heavy snow could be followed by flooding. High tides were reported on much of the mid-Atlantic with some people being evacuated from the New Jersey shore.
“You never like to disrupt transportation and commerce, however the storm was fast and furious,” said New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo “This is a storm that is nothing to be trifled with.”
An estimated 85 million people found themselves in the eye of the storm, which was dubbed “Snowzilla” and around 200,000 people were left without power.
The storm dumped 22.2 inches (56 centimetres) of snow in a very short space of time in Washington and 25.1 inches in New York’s Central Park, the third highest accumulation since records began in 1869.
Thirteen people were killed in weather-related car crashes in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. One person died in Maryland and three in New York City while shovelling snow.
Two died of hypothermia in Virginia, officials said.
The dead included Jefferson Heavner, a Good Samaritan, who police say was shot by a 27 year old motorists he had gone to help after his car span off the road.
Aviation was badly hit with thousands of flights, including transatlantic services cancelled. However some flights are expected to resume during the day today, although much will depend on whether the snow tapers off and the roads can be cleared to get staff and passengers to major airports.
The civilian moral has stayed strong however with people skiing through the streets of New York City and some even power skiing whilst being towed by all-terrain vehicles including snowmobiles.