Spring Snow Storm Paralyzes East Coast, Federal Offices Closed, Thousands of Flights Cancelled, States Declare Emergencies

Northeast braces for spring nor'easter's heavy snow, winds
Ellen F. O'Connell/Hazleton Standard-Speaker via AP

Winter Storm Toby has paralyzed the East Coast of the United States making travel hazardous, shutting down the federal government, canceling thousands of domestic flights, and causes some states to declare emergencies.

The National Weather Service reported:

More than 4,000 domestic flights were canceled Wednesday, most of which were because of Toby, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.

State offices were closed in Rhode Island and New Jersey, and states of emergency were declared in Delaware and New Jersey.

As travel conditions worsened Wednesday morning, Virginia State Police troopers responded to more than 250 crashes statewide during the morning rush hour.

But as everyday activities have been altered or halted by the storm, school children are enjoying a snow day as schools remain closed across the region.

In fact, despite the official start of spring on Tuesday, winter-style storms could still set records for seasonal snowfall.

New York City has had 15 snow events dropping 6 inches or more on and after March 16, seven of which were in April, the weather service reported.

“The last time that happened was March 19, 1992, when 6.2 inches of snow piled up in Central Park,” the weather service reported. “The most recent 6-inch-plus snow event in April occurred on April 6, 1982, when a 9.6-inch snowfall was measured.”

In records dating back to 1869, the largest spring snowstorm in the city dropped 11.8 inches in 1958.

Forecasters are predicting the Big Apple could have a foot of snow before this weather event is over.

In the D.C. region, snow totals are predicted to range from 6 to 12 inches.

Even if federal offices are closed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is advising people on social media to be careful shoveling snow because it can be a threat to one’s health and to be properly clothed if spending time outdoors to avoid hypothermia.

The weather service forecasts:

•Snow, heavy at times, is expected along the Interstate 95 corridor from near the Washington, DC, metro to parts of southern New England.

•Snow will also linger in the Ohio Valley and the Appalachians as far south as the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.

•Snow will continue Wednesday night from Maine to Maryland, and also in the Appalachians.

•Strong winds will continue to build from Delaware and the Jersey Shore to Long Island and New England Wednesday, continuing into Wednesday night from the Piedmont of North Carolina to the mid-Atlantic states and coastal New England.

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