The biggest snowstorm to hit the northeastern United States so far this winter is departing the region, leaving behind over a foot of snow, widespread power outages and significant travel disruptions.
The system responsible for dropping nearly 2 feet of snow over parts of New England tracked across the Midwest on Wednesday and slowly strengthened as it moved over Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey on Wednesday night.
The weather quickly deteriorated in cities such as New York City and Boston by the Thursday morning commute as the system continued to strengthen, eventually turning into a powerful blizzard. Snowfall rates exceeded 2 inches an hour, making travel almost impossible for a time.
There has been at least one fatality due to the storm after a man fell down stairs while shoveling in Manhattan.
Freeman Ave is closed pic.twitter.com/RhiJNfwFXF
— Sandwich Police (@SandwichPD) February 9, 2017
Heavy snow, strong winds and even lightning brought down trees across the region, contributing to widespread power outages.
Over 55,000 people were without power in Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Thursday afternoon, local utilities reported. This included all of the electric customers living in Yarmouth, Chilmark and Aquinnah Massachusetts.
Not only did the blizzard lead to major travel disruptions on the roads but also at airports all across the nation.
More than 4,000 flights were canceled across the United States on Thursday, almost all of them either flying out of or into the northeastern United States.
One flight headed from Atlanta to New York City’s JFK airport had to turn around in the middle of the flight due to poor weather conditions in the New York City area.
People across the region may continue to encounter travel issues even after the snow ends as frigid air moving in behind the storm can lead to a rapid freeze-up, resulting in slippery travel.
If you have to go out, take your time and drive safely. (This truck-vs-pole accident happened in the Sunbury area this AM.) #snowstorm pic.twitter.com/GjJFUGGv4h
— PPL Electric (@PPLElectric) February 9, 2017
Over a foot of snow accumulated in Milford, Connecticut. (Photo/Twitter user @theCTyankee)
Snow & wind blowing so hard now can barely see anything on traffic cams. Here's one we can show you, Exit 3 on I-95 https://t.co/MmvgtfmQL3 pic.twitter.com/8c49476X1H
— RIDOT (@RIDOTNews) February 9, 2017
De-icing in #Philly | 📸: Mike T. #FlyFrontier #Niko pic.twitter.com/930B0QEkNK
— Frontier Airlines (@FlyFrontier) February 9, 2017
(Photo/Massachusetts State Police)