Historic Blizzard

Submitted by ub on Fri, 01/22/2016 - 21:48

A historic snowstorm with gale force winds is pounding the east coast with a couple of feet of snow, along with widespread power outages and impassable roadways for 85 million people in 20 states, ranging from Arkansas to Carolina to New York City and New England.

The first Atlantic coast blizzard this weekend has utility companies dealing with widespread outages. Some more may lose power, Internet, and mobile service. It may get dangerous out there. At the very least, it may get boring.

Unless it is a matter of emergency, stay home. If you do decide brave the storm and venture outside, you’ll probably have to dig your way out the front door. Expect parking spaces painstakingly carved from walls of snow protected with garbage bins and lawn furniture, and the kids will have their fingers crossed hoping the snow will mean no school on Monday.

Unless you have to, it’s probably best to just stay off the roads, be safe, and keep it inside.

TRANSIT: Subway service may not be affected. Workers will be keeping the stairs and platforms clear of snow. Third-rail heaters and trains with snow scraper shoes are also going to be used to keep trains running. Some express lines will run local beginning Friday night so train cars can be protected from the elements.

All scheduled weekend work on the subway is canceled, including the planned 7 train shutdown. Stations that would have been closed for planned weekend work will be open, unless the storm weakens significantly or moves away. This does not include the longer-range outages like the N train stations in Brooklyn, which remain closed.

Bus service cancelled this afternoon. The MTA was replacing long articulated buses with shorter vehicles starting Friday night. Buses were also be equipped with snow tires and chains, and the MTA will used 37 snow-fighting vehicles to keep stops and routes clear. But Cuomo decided to stop this afternoon.

Long Island Railroad service could be curtailed or suspended if there are blizzard-like conditions. The MTA says that changes could be likely if there are sustained winds over 39 mph, whiteout conditions, frozen switches or loss of power to electrified rails. The MTA says it is rolling out snow-fighting assets to keep trains running to and from the island. See the latest LIRR alerts here.

Metro-North Railroad service could be cut back or suspended. The railroad, which runs to parts of the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut not expected to be as heavily hit, is also making preparations for the worst. See the latest Metro-North advisories here.

NJ Transit says the storm could cause changes and delays on buses, commuter lines and the Hudson-Bergen light rail. The transit service is cross-honoring tickets and passes system wide all weekend. See the latest NJ Transit alerts here.

PATH train service is expected to run normally, but a planned emergency response drill has been canceled. See the latest PATH advisories here.
NY Waterway was offering limited ferry service as of Tuesday. See the latest NY Waterway advisories here.
The Staten Island Ferry is running normally. No service changes to ferry service have been announced.

Amtrak has announced several changes to rail service. Acela Express, Northeast Regional and several other lines that run to and from New York City will operate on modified schedules. See the latest Amtrak alerts here.

New York City cabs will be operating and available as long as there is no travel ban, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission. But as officials have urged, people should not be on the roads if they can avoid.

Several Airlines have waived flight change fees. United, Delta, American Airlines, JetBlue and others will let you switch your flight for free ahead of the storm. Hundreds of cancellations and delays have racked up at the region's three airports.

The Latest: No. of flights canceled reaches 7,600…

WATCH LIVE: Our Times Square snow cam is up!