US braces for 'potentially historic' blizzard

2015-01-26 07:35
Cars with snow atop the roofs sit idle at this home on Broadway in Lancaster, update New York, following an earlier blizzard. (Gary Wiepert, AP)

Cars with snow atop the roofs sit idle at this home on Broadway in Lancaster, update New York, following an earlier blizzard. (Gary Wiepert, AP)

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New York - A "potentially historic" blizzard could dump 60 to 90 centimetres of snow on a large part of the US Northeast, crippling a region that has largely been spared so far this winter, the National Weather Service said on Sunday.

Hundreds of cancelled flights were expected.

A blizzard warning was issued for New York and Boston, and the National Weather Service said the storm would bring heavy snow and powerful winds starting on Monday and into Tuesday.

"This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference.

De Blasio held up a piece of paper showing the city's top 10 snowstorms and said this one could land at the top of a list that goes back to 1872, including the 68.3cm (26.9 inches) that fell in 2006.

'Prepare for the worst'

 "Don't underestimate this storm. Prepare for the worst," he said as he urged residents to plan to leave work early on Monday.

Around 1 200 flights scheduled for Monday are expected to be cancelled, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware. The storm promised treacherous travel by both land and air throughout the busy northeast corridor.

Boston was expected to get 45 to 60cm of snow, and Philadelphia could see 35 to 45cm, the weather service said. The Washington, DC, area was expected to get a coating or a bit more.

In New York, transit officials planned to use modified subway cars loaded with de-icing fluid to spray the third rail that powers trains.

Read more on:    us  |  weather

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