Powerful Snowstorm Slams Northeast

Heavy snow and high winds pounded New York City and surrounding areas, causing dangerous conditions across the region.

“I know more is coming, so I’m just doing this in shifts because I think we’re going to get a few more inches.” “The storm is disrupting our vaccination effort, and we need to keep people safe. We don’t want folks, especially seniors, going out in unsafe conditions.”

Video player loading
Heavy snow and high winds pounded New York City and surrounding areas, causing dangerous conditions across the region.CreditCredit…Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

A winter storm was headed for northern New England on Tuesday, after hammering much of the Northeast the day before, leaving at least one person dead and disrupting travel for millions.

In Massachusetts, an additional two inches of snow was expected through the morning hours. Snow totals across the western portion of the state varied, with some areas receiving 10 to 15 inches. Boston, which received just a few inches of snow, may see another inch or so of accumulation through Tuesday. Areas north and west could see up to eight inches of additional snow.

In Maine, a winter storm warning remains in effect through Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service. Coastal areas in the state were expected to receive mixed precipitation, and as much as 10 inches of snow was expected to fall through Tuesday.

On Monday night, the Weather Service said the highest reported snowfall in the Northeast was in Mendham, N.J., which received 30 inches.

In New York City, at least 16 inches of snow fell in Central Park and at least another inch was expected on Tuesday, making it one of the heaviest snowfalls in the city’s history. Aboveground subway service resumed at 5 a.m. on Tuesday after being suspended on Monday. The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad also resumed service at 4 a.m.

In-person learning at city schools was canceled until Wednesday, and coronavirus vaccination appointments scheduled for Tuesday were postponed until later in the week.

“We understand the subway and commuter rail lines are critical for essential workers who need to get to work and the M.T.A. is confident they can restore service” by Tuesday morning, Mr. Cuomo said.

Additional snow accumulations of up to one inch and a light glaze of ice were expected in the early morning hours, with winds reaching up to 35 m.p.h., the Weather Service said. Road conditions were expected to remain slippery, causing more delays.

On Long Island, more than 10 inches of snow had fallen by early Tuesday, while Newark received 16 inches, the Weather Service said. Further inland, snow totals reached 20 inches.

In Allentown, Penn., the police said they responded to a call that a 67-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease who had walked away from her home early Monday morning. She was later found lying in the snow, dead from hypothermia, according to the county coroner.

Areas north of New York City, including Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut, were forecast to receive an additional inch of snow with some ice accumulations by Tuesday morning. As much as 19 inches fell in Danbury, and more than 11 inches fell in Hartford, the Weather Service said. More than two feet of snow was reported in Harrison County, N.Y.

The Mount Washington Observatory and summit in New Hampshire. In the winter it becomes an “arctic island,” said an observatory manager.
Credit…Cappi Thompson/Getty Images

The major snowstorm that pounded the Northeast on Monday forced schools to close, led to hundreds of flight cancellations and generally disrupted routines that had already been altered by the pandemic. It also brought further evidence that Mount Washington in northern New Hampshire is a contender for the title “home of the world’s worst weather.”

At the 6,288-foot mountain’s summit, it felt like 18 degrees below zero on Monday night, with wind gusts of up to 75 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. On Tuesday, the wind chill may make it feel like an even-frostier 17 below zero.

As many as a quarter of a million people visit Mount Washington every summer. The sky is blue, the grass is green and the views are spectacular.

By winter, though, the mountain becomes an “arctic island,” according to Rebecca Scholand, a manager at the Mount Washington Observatory. Sophisticated weather equipment is stored in a concrete structure built into the side of the mountain, which can give meteorologists who stay there an unsettling feeling. “If you’ve ever watched ‘The Shining,’ it hits a little too close to home on the summit,” she said in a November interview.

For the next few days, only a few inches of snow are expected to accumulate, under a cloudy sky and ferocious winds. The temperature may vary from a few degrees above zero during the day to a few degrees below at night. By Saturday, officials said, it may reach “a high near 17.”

Gantry State Park in Long Island City, Queens, on Monday. A City Council election is proceeding on Tuesday despite the snowfall.
Credit…Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

For weeks, eight people have campaigned for a City Council seat in eastern Queens amid several obstacles: the coronavirus pandemic, unfamiliar ranked-choice voting, and attack ads aimed at a progressive candidate.

Then came the snow. Lots of it.

On Monday, when the storm brought more than 16 inches of snow to Central Park, at least four candidates unsuccessfully called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to postpone Tuesday’s special election. They are battling for a seat that was vacated in early November when Rory Lancman left to join Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration.

Deepti Sharma, a small-business owner in the race, focused on making the best of it, even if the scene outside her home, by 155th Street and Horace Harding Expressway, was not promising.

“Streets aren’t completely plowed,” she said on Monday evening. “The sidewalks are barely, barely shoveled, because snow is still coming and there’s wind blowing.” Her campaign had scrapped plans to hand out literature to shoppers at local supermarkets. “We’re spending a whole day calling people, letting them know that the election is still on,” she said.

At about 5:30 p.m., Mr. de Blasio tweeted that Tuesday’s election would continue.

Sanitation plows “are making extra rounds near polling sites,” wrote the mayor, who earlier declared a state of emergency for the city and asked people to restrict nonessential travel.

Several candidates wanted the election to be postponed. There had been three early voting sites — at York College, Queens College and Queensboro Hall — but in a district with limited mass transit, other voters were waiting for Tuesday.

“I don’t want someone endangering themselves to come out in a foot of snow to cast a vote,” one candidate, Soma Syed, a lawyer and small-business owner, said in a statement.

Another candidate, Dilip Nath, who has worked in health care technology, said that holding the election would be a “disenfranchisement of voters that are not able-bodied and voters that do not have a reliable method of transportation.”

Two other candidates, Dr. Neeta Jain, a psychologist, and Mujib U. Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Society of North America, signed on to Ms. Syed’s statement.

“Turnout will be very, very low if we go through,” Dr. Jain said in a brief interview. A little more than 5,500 people submitted ballots during nine days of early voting, which ended Sunday, according to figures from the New York City Board of Elections.

Other candidates had urged for the election to continue. Moumita Ahmed, a progressive activist who was the target of attack ads, wrote on Twitter, “Working-class immigrant families in Queens have endured far, far worse than this snowstorm throughout this pandemic.” James F. Gennaro, a former City Council member, tweeted on Monday for residents to “BEAT THE SNOW AND VOTE NOW!”

Also running for Mr. Lancman’s seat is Michael Earl Brown, who could not be reached on Monday.

The winner of Tuesday’s election will hold the seat only until Dec. 31. There will be a primary in June and a general election in November for a full four-year term.

Yes, the heavy snow across the Northeast caused plenty of problems, but it was also responsible for the following video of pandas sliding and rolling in the snow.

In the spirit of that footage, shared by the National Zoo in Washington on Sunday, here are a few other ways of making the most of the winter weather.

Some people took the opportunity to build snowmen — masked, of course.

And with some roads covered in snow, one woman strapped on her skis and took to the streets of Manhattan.

Last week, the Manhattan Bird Alert Twitter account shared news that a snowy owl had been spotted in the middle of Central Park’s North Meadow ball fields — the first recorded sighting since 1890. The owl had not been seen on Monday, but birders still kept tabs on these sledders flying down a hill and some mallards trudging through the ice.

Snow piled up on a Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, street on Monday.
Credit…Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times

Winter storms typically leave office-bound companies in a scramble with workers unable to get to work. This year brings a new twist: The coronavirus pandemic has prepared more people than ever to work from home.

Now, for those who have been working from home for months, a snow day is just another day. The logistics have already been sorted out, making it easier for employers to weather the storm.

In previous years, more workers may have been required to take a treacherous drive into the office, which could be stressful at best and life-threatening at worst. If workers stayed home, they may not have had the technology or the communication systems set up to efficiently continue their tasks.

“A lot of people are going to realize remote work is a little more seamless in these types of events, whereas historically it would have been a bigger deal,” said Sara Sutton, the chief executive of FlexJobs, a job board for remote workers.

But the move to remote work also brings a new risk: Workers cannot do much if the power goes out. Office buildings and other professional environments often have backup generators to guard against power outages, but many homes and apartment buildings do not.

Ms. Sutton suggested having a backup plan ready to stay connected through power outages. It could include going to a friend’s house where there is still power, or having multiple ways to get online.

Many phones allow users to create a hot spot that can connect a computer to the internet. But beware: It will chew through phone data quickly. Mobile hot spots are another option.

Among people whose jobs can be done from home, 71 percent said they were working from home all or most of the time, according to a Pew Research Center survey from December.

Source link