More than 60 million people are under winter weather alert, and local officials have taken pre-emptive measures to prepare the densely populated area, including closing government offices and ordering schools to close.
According to CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford, 12 inches of snow are forecast in Boston, 4 to 6 inches in Washington DC, 3 to 5 inches in New York City and up to 4 inches in Philadelphia.
In Connecticut, all executive branch state office buildings will be closed Friday and non-essential workers are being asked to work remotely.
“This appears to be a significant winter storm that is about to affect our state, with snowfall estimated to reach rates of over an inch per hour, creating whitewashed conditions and increasing morning rush hour.” Happening at altitude,” Governor Ned Lamont said in a statement.
He warned people not to go out on the streets if possible.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy warned that a combination of snow and wind could lead to blackouts due to power lines being blocked. He encouraged people to work remotely if possible, as the storm would make travel dangerous.
3,900 pieces of equipment ready for ice handling
In Massachusetts, officials are asking non-emergency state employees not to report to work on Friday.
All Boston public schools in the city will be closed on Friday “due to bad weather.”
Schools in the area are already facing acute staff shortages, though it is not clear how many are related to Covid.
In Virginia, the National Guard is being mobilized to assist with emergency management as the state faces its second winter storm this week, according to Virginia Army and Air National Guard Major General Tim Williams.
And government Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency.
According to National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Orrock, the upcoming storm will be smaller but will hit areas similar to hurricanes in Virginia early in the week.
“Overall we’ll see three to four inches with some varying amounts, 4-6 inches in the high elevations, and 6-8 inches in the very peaks,” said Orock, “more on the upside.” 5-6 inches above the I-95 corridor, adding to the possibility of snow.”
Federal government offices and public schools in Washington DC will be closed on Friday.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites will remain open, but winter weather is affecting testing and vaccination sites in Maryland and Virginia.
The state health department said Friday that the Maryland Department of Health will delay operating times at various locations and close five Virginia community immunization centers.
Declaration of Emergency in Kentucky
“Strong severe weather is affecting travel on major interstate, and state and local road routes as well as causing power outages and damage to public infrastructure and private properties,” Beshear said in a statement.
He urged people to stay off the roads if possible and said that the Red Cross is monitoring the need for warming centers and search and rescue teams have already been activated to check the safety of stranded motorists.
State Police Public Information Officer Scotty Sharp said the only injuries were minor and non-life-threatening.
CNN’s Robert Shakelford, Dave Alsup, Mary Kay Maloney, Brian Vitagliano, Elizabeth Joseph, Sahar Akbarzai, Zaid Tim-Garcia, Amy Simonson and Jessica Jordan contributed to this report.