Forecasters are predicting another “epic” blizzard that could top the one that buried New York and surrounds last winter.
The “potentially historic” snowstorm could dump up to three feet of snow along a swathe from New Jersey as far as southern Maine, according to the National Weather Service.
New Yorkers were out in force as early as Sunday to stock up on essentials, such as candles, matches, snow shovels, rock salt to melt the expected ice on their sidewalks and extra food supplies.
The blizzard warning was issued as early as this weekend, with shoppers already out in force to scour the store shelves in a 250-mile stretch along the northeastern United States. “Milk, cereal, snacks for the kids, orange juice – in general I made sure we had enough food to last through the storm for the next two or three days,” Brooklynite Shlomit Belilos told JewishPress.com late Sunday night.
Heavy snow, gale-force winds and widespread coastal flooding is predicted in New York starting sometime late Monday afternoon or early evening and continuing on into Tuesday. Snow is expected to fall at a rate of up to two inches per hour at some points.
“This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said gravely at a news conference held Sunday. Holding up a list of the Big Apple’s Top Ten Snowstorms, de Blasio said the predicted blizzard could make the list, which dates back to 1872.
“Don’t underestimate this storm,” he warned. “Prepare for the worst,” he advised New Yorkers, telling them to plan to leave work early today (Monday, Jan. 26.) Forecasters predict that New York City could be buried under snow drifts as high as 26 inches or more.
More than 1,700 flights are expected to cancel departures and arrivals at airports along the Eastern Coast. Airlines have already prepared to shut down operations at major airports, according to the FlightAware tracking site.
Philadelphia could see between 14 to 18 inches, and Boston is expected to get between 18 to 24 inches of snow, with up to three feet west of Beantown.
Wind gusts of 75 miles per hour or more are possible for coastal areas of Massachusetts, bringing with them coastal flooding, and up to 50 mph winds further inland.