Una potente tormenta de nieve golpea la Costa Este de EEUU: 19 millones de personas están bajo alerta meteorológica y hay 120.000 usuarios sin luz/Blizzard batters East Coast with deep snow, winds, flooding

Las autoridades declararon el estado de emergencia en en Maryland, Massachusetts, Nueva Jersey, Nueva York y Rhode Island. Ayer se cancelaron más de 3.500 vuelos

Más de 120.000 personas están sin electricidad desde ayer debido a la tormenta invernal ‘Nor’easter’, que azota la costa este de Estados Unidos y ha provocado la cancelación de más de 3.500 vuelos en el país norteamericano.

“Atrinchérense durante 24 horas, y en algún momento mañana, usted podrá volver a salir y reanudar algunas de sus actividades normales”, ha aconsejado a la población este sábado el director interino de gestión de emergencias de Rhode Island, Tom Guthlein, tal y como recoge la cadena CNN.

Además de las 120.000 personas que se han quedado sin electricidad debido a la tormenta invernal en la costa este, se han registrado apagones dispersos en otros estados del noreste, como Nueva York, donde más de 600 personas se han quedado sin electricidad.

Se han registrado ráfagas de viento que han superando los 97 kilómetros por hora en algunas partes de la región de Nueva Inglaterra y también se han producido fuertes nevadas desde Rhode Island hasta Carolina del Norte. En la ciudad de Bayville, Nueva Jersey, el temporal ha dejado 48 centímetros de nieve, un registro similar al que ha caído en Nueva York.

La tormenta invernal ha provocado que se declare el estado de emergencia en varios estados, como en Maryland, Massachusetts, Nueva Jersey, Nueva York y Rhode Island.

Se espera que estas condiciones meteorológicas persistan a medida que la tormenta se desplace a lo largo de Maine, con cotas de nieve que se estima que alcancen entre 1,1 a 1,5 centímetros la hora en algunas áreas, particularmente en la costa y el Downeast Maine y durante el día la tormenta se irá dispersando, según ha informado la CNN.

Casi 19 millones de personas estaban bajo alerta meteorológica invernal en seis estados este sábado por la noche, desde el sur de Nueva York hasta Maine, incluyendo la ciudad de Nueva York y Boston. Las condiciones de ventisca son posibles hasta primera hora del domingo desde el este de Massachusetts hasta el este de Maine, ha explicado el Servicio Meteorológico Nacional.

CANCELACIÓN DE VUELOS

Más de 3.500 vuelos se han cancelado en Estados Unidos desde las 9.00 horas (hora local) este sábado, siendo las ciudades de la costa este las más afectadas, según ha alertado FlightAware.

La tormenta ha provocado la cancelación generalizada de vuelos y aeropuerto neoyorquino de LaGuardia ha anunciado que el 98 por ciento de los vuelos programados para este sábado han sido cancelados.

Por su parte, el aeropuerto internacional JFK de Nueva York ha cancelado el 80 por ciento de los vuelos, mientras que el aeropuerto Newark Liberty de la vecina Nueva Jersey ha cancelado el 90 por ciento.

Asimismo, el Aeropuerto Internacional Logan de Boston ha cancelado el 91 por ciento de todos los vuelos, según el rastreador FlightAware.

La tormenta afectará este domingo a 75 millones de personas desde el sureste hasta Nueva Inglaterra, donde tendrán lugar nevadas peligrosamente fuertes y vientos que se acerquen a la intensidad de un huracán, según ha informado la CNN.

“Es probable que esta tormenta se fortalezca a un ritmo y con una intensidad equivalente a los huracanes más poderosos, por lo que no se puede subestimar el potencial de alto nivel de esta tormenta”, ha advertido el meteorólogo de la cadena CNN, Brandon Miller.

(con información de EP)

Blizzard batters East Coast with deep snow, winds, flooding

By MARK PRATT and MIKE CATALINI
BOSTON (AP) — A nor’easter with hurricane-force wind gusts battered much of the East Coast on Saturday, flinging heavy snow that made travel treacherous or impossible, flooding coastlines, and threatening to leave bitter cold in its wake.

The storm thrashed parts of 10 states, with blizzard warnings that stretched from Virginia to Maine. Philadelphia and New York saw plenty of wind and snow, but Boston was in the crosshairs. The city could get more than 2 feet of snow by the time it moves out early Sunday.

Winds gusted as high as 83 mph on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. More than 22 inches of snow had fallen by midafternoon on part of Long Island in New York, while Bayville, N.J., had 19 inches.

The wind scoured the ground bare in some spots and piled the snow into huge drifts in others.

Forecasters watched closely for new snowfall records, especially in Boston, where the heaviest snow was expected later Saturday. The Boston area’s modern snowfall record is 27.6 inches, set in 2003.

New York City and Philadelphia were far from setting all-time records but still saw significant snowfall, with at least 7.5 inches in New York’s Central Park and at the Philadelphia airport.

Many flights at airports serving New York, Boston and Philadelphia were canceled Saturday, according to FlightAware. More than 4,500 flights were canceled across the U.S., though airports in the Northeast didn’t report evidence of mass strandings, given that the storm was anticipated and many airlines called off flights in advance.

Amtrak canceled all its high-speed Acela trains on the busy Boston-to-Washington corridor and canceled or limited other service.

In Boston, Dominic Torre was out driving his snow dump truck since the storm began overnight, picking up loads of plowed snow from the streets of and dumping it in unused parking lots known as “snow farms.” It was about time for such a big storm, he said.

“You know, we were overdue,” he said. “It’s pretty hairy, you know, a lot of snow. A lot of snow, a lot of trips, a lot of loads. And it ain’t over yet. It ain’t done yet.”

Videos on social media showed wind and waves battering North Weymouth, south of Boston, flooding streets with a slurry of frigid water. Other videos showed a street underwater on Nantucket and waves crashing against the windows of a building in Plymouth.

Over 120,000 homes and businesses lost power in Massachusetts, with failures mounting. No other states reported widespread outages.

Climate change, particularly the warming ocean, probably influenced the strength of the storm, atmospheric researchers said.

Much warmer ocean waters “are certainly playing a role in the strengthening of the storm system and increased moisture available for the storm,” said University of Oklahoma meteorology professor Jason Furtado. “But it isn’t the only thing.”

The storm had two saving graces: Dry snow less capable of snapping trees and tearing down power lines, and its timing on a weekend, when schools were closed and few people were commuting.

Parts of 10 states were under blizzard warnings at some point: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, along with much of the Delmarva Peninsula in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

The National Weather Service considers a storm a blizzard if it has snowfall or blowing snow, as well as winds of at least 35 mph that reduce visibility to a quarter-mile or less for at least three hours. In many areas, Saturday’s storm met those criteria.

Rhode Island, all of which was under a blizzard warning, banned all nonemergency road travel.

In West Hartford, Conn., a tractor-trailer jackknifed on Interstate 84, closing several lanes. Massachusetts banned heavy trucks from interstate highways.

Ocean City, Md., recorded at least a foot of snow. Maryland State Police tweeted that troopers had received more than 670 calls for service and responded to over 90 crashes by midmorning.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul advised people to stay home and warned of below-zero windchills after the storm passes. The state had declared a state of emergency Friday evening.

“This is a very serious storm, very serious. We’ve been preparing for this. This could be life-threatening,” Hochul said. “It’s high winds, heavy snow, blizzard conditions — all the elements of a classic nor’easter.”

Police on Long Island said they had to help motorists stuck in the snow, and an elderly man shoveling snow died after falling into a swimming pool. In Philadelphia, few drivers ventured onto streets covered in knee-high drifts.

Hardy New Englanders took the storm in stride.

Dave McGillivray, race director for the Boston Marathon, jokingly invited the public to his suburban Boston home on Saturday for a free snow-shoveling clinic.

“I will provide the driveway and multiple walkways to ensure your training is conducted in the most lifelike situation,” he said.

Washington and Baltimore got some snow but were largely spared. The worst of the nor’easter was expected to blow by Sunday morning into Canada, where several provinces were under warnings.