Winter Storm Orlena has been blamed for at least one death in Pennsylvania as it continued to dump snow across the Northeast, with New York City already reporting a foot in Central Park and forecasters predicting the Big Apple may see two feet by the time it blows over.
Officials have been urging millions of Americans along the East Coast to stay home as storm conditions worsen into the evening, causing road, public transport and bridge closures.
The storm, which has already barreled across the Midwest over the weekend, leaving nearly a foot of snow in Chicago, was on Monday bearing down on the Eastern US, hitting Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, along with New York.
According to the National Weather Service, Central Park in New York as of Monday afternoon had reported record snowfall of 13.3 inches – and there was more to come, with around two inches an hour falling throughout the day. Snowfall was expected to continue into Tuesday morning with forecasters predicting around two feet in total.
The last time it snowed more than 24 inches in New York City was in January 2016, when there were 27.3 inches recorded in Central Park – the record for NYC snowfall. And the city got just a shade over 24 inches – 24.1 – on Feb. 12, 2006.
If New York does end up getting 24 inches of snow, it’d be the fourth-biggest snowstorm since records began in 1869.
Pennsylvania authorities said Patricia Becker, a 67-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease who reportedly wandered away from her home died from hypothermia
‘This is expected to be one of the bigger snowfall events for New York City,’ Matthew Wunsch, an NWS forecaster said.
Meanwhile, it was a dangerous storm across its path. Pennsylvania authorities said a 67-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease reportedly wandered away from her home and was found dead of hypothermia on an Allentown street Monday morning.
Patricia Becker, 67, is said to have frozen to death on Monday morning. Becker, was reported missing around 4am and led to a massive search by Allentown Police.
Becker was found lying in the snow just a few blocks away from the apartment building a few hours later.
She was pronounced dead from hypothermia around 9:40am.
The Lehigh County coroner’s office said the death does not appear to be suspicious.
And the treacherous travel conditions closed down some coronavirus vaccination sites across the region, including in New York and Massachusetts.
During a press conference on Monday afternoon, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the seriously dangerous storm is ‘only going to get worse’.
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Becker was found in the snow having frozen to death just four blocks away from her home
More than 100 million people from the Midwest to the Northeast received winter weather warnings in anticipation of the powerful nor’easter, which lived up to its billing dumping two inches an hour over New York City
Wind gusts were predicted to reach 26mph in Boston as the storm bears down on the city
By Tuesday there will be lighter snow lingering in far west and central New York (depicted above)
This satellite image shows the massive storm along the Northeast on Monday morning
People cross a road as winter storm Orlena hit the Brooklyn borough of New York City Monday morning
A bicycle was seen parked in deep snow around 2pm on Monday along Montrose Ave in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn
Snowplows drive through Times Square on Monday morning as winter storm Orlena continued to dump snow on the Big Apple
Some New Yorkers had to go into work Monday morning and braved the snow storm to do so
A person rides their bicycle in Times Square during the winter storm on Monday in New York City
Arturo Diaz, 4, enjoys playing in a deep snow bank in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Monday
Snow covers the ground at the White House on Monday in Washington, DC
Trucks are loaded with road salt destined for the streets of the Boston area in Chelsea, Massachusetts in the hours before a storm on Monday
Flight cancellations in New York City
In a tweet, officials from LaGuardia Airport wrote Monday morning: ‘All flight activity at #LGA has been suspended due to current weather conditions. Please contact your airline carrier for details on rebooking.’
Officials from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport canceled all flights out of the airport on Monday. Travelers are advised to contact their airline for more information.
The snow accumulation at JFK also caused an electrical issue, but officials didn’t immediately release details.
Newark Liberty International Airport only had four flights scheduled for Monday and those were also canceled.
‘Snow plows cannot keep up with two inches per hour,’ Cuomo said. ‘We’re looking at a long two days here,’ he added, urging New York residents to stay inside. ‘If you are not an essential worker you should not be on the roads during the state of emergency.’
In Brooklyn, cars slid and got stuck on a slight hill, and in Manhattan first responders were seen responding to a truck that spiraled out-of-control on the slippery roads before landing on its side.
In Virginia, four firefighters were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries after their fire truck overturned on snow-covered roads in Henrico County.
It wasn’t just the roads that were a problem as the storm hit in the middle of a pandemic. Across the Northeast, many coronavirus vaccination sites closed Monday.
New York shut down its COVID-19 vaccination sites. While local officials were hoping that vaccination sites could reopen on Tuesday, Cuomo said they would not. He said all Monday and Tuesday appointments have been postponed ‘and will be rescheduled’. A total of 1.9 million people in New York have been vaccinated, Cuomo said.
The storm disrupted the second phase of Massachusetts’ vaccine rollout as a Boston site that was supposed to open Monday for residents ages 75 and over did not; some other mass vaccination sites were open.
Boston officials also issued a snow emergency and parking ban in the city.
Massachusetts is expected to get 12 to 18 inches of heavy, wet snow and wind gusts of up to 55mph along the coast, according to Gov Charlie Baker.
‘We’re used to dealing with snow this time of year, but it’s important for folks to take this one seriously due to the heavy snowfall, the high winds, and the speed with which this snow is going to fall when it starts to come down,’ Baker said at a press conference.
Connecticut Gov Ned Lamont said most vaccinations scheduled in his state for Monday were postponed, but he noted that the vaccine can be kept, refrigerated, for days.
In a school year when many students are already learning from home, in-person classes were canceled in many places.
‘I’d like to think there is still some virtual learning going on, with a little bit of time for sledding along the way,’ Lamont quipped.
New Jersey already had scattered power outages by late morning, affecting about 1,500 homes and businesses, but Gov Phil Murphy warned that high winds were likely to knock out electricity to more people across the state heading into Tuesday.
Murphy on Sunday declared a state of emergency in order to deploy resources. He also closed all state government offices for nonessential personnel and the state’s six mega sites that distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
‘Heavy snow, coastal flooding, and high winds are expected in many parts of the state. The safety of residents and workers is our utmost priority. Please follow all weather-related guidance and stay off roads in order to allow access for emergency personnel,’ Murphy said in a statement.
According to Bob Oravec, a lead forecaster with the NWS, the heaviest snowfall is likely to be recorded in northeastern Pennsylvania and northwestern New Jersey.
In Pennsylvania forecasters predict 11 to 15 inches of snow in some areas and winds of up to 35 miles per hour.
Hundreds of flights and many trains and were canceled, and above-ground New York City subway service stopped at 2pm.
Wind gusts between 40-50mph are predicted in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Boston, Massachusetts
This map shows that parts of Pennsylvania, the metro New York area and Massachusetts will be some of the regions hardest-hit in the storm
This map shows that light snow will still fall through late Tuesday, hitting states further north the hardest
Officials across the Northeast have warned that travel will be hazardous throughout Monday and into Tuesday
Rough surf, moderate coastal flooding and beach erosion is like along the Northeast coast
Pedestrians bundled up for cold weather walk on Sixth Avenue as snow falls in New York City on Monday
A pedestrian crosses Sixth Avenue as snow falls in New York City on Monday morning during winter storm Orlena
Gov Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers to stay home and that the havoc from the storm could last up to two days. Workers started clearing snow Monday morning in New York City
A motorist clears his car of snow in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York on Monday
A pedestrian walks across a snow cover street in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Monday morning
A pedestrian walks down a snow-covered sidewalk in the Chinatown neighborhood of the Manhattan borough of New York
People enter the Church Avenue subway station in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn on Monday morning in New York City
A man shovels snow off a sidewalk in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn on Monday during winter storm Orlena
A Times Square Alliance worker clears sidewalks of snow in Times Square on Monday in the Manhattan borough of New York
Workers are seen clearing snow-covered roads in Stamford, Connecticut, on Monday
A worker cleans the stairs outside The Vessel in Hudson Yards during a winter storm on Monday
A woman tries to protect her face from blowing snow while walking in white-out conditions in Jersey City, New Jersey on Monday
An aerial image Times Square shows people taking photos amid snowfall in New York City on Monday
Most Daily Snowfall at Central Park, NYC (1869 to Present)
Amount (Inches) Day
27.3 January 23, 2016
26.1 December 26, 1947
24.1 February 12, 2006
18.0 December 26, 1872
16.5 March 12, 1888
16.3 February 17, 2003
15.8 December 19, 1948
15.7 March 8, 1941
15.5 February 6, 1978
14.0 February 9, 1969
13.6 January 7, 1996
13.5 March 1, 1914
13.0 January 16, 1879
12.8 February 11, 1994
12.8 January 23, 1935
12.7 February 19, 1979
12.7 December 15, 1916
In New York, Gov Cuomo said some roads in the state were impassable just before Sarah Feinberg, the interim president of the New York City Transit Authority, confirmed that underground subway service ‘will continue to operate’.
‘Some bus routes may be suspended in the coming hours,’ Feinberg added, warning people to stay home if possible as evening approached.
Officials also announced that 90 per cent of flights have been canceled across the New York region and it’s expected that the few remaining flights will also be canceled.
Many flights elsewhere in the Northeast, including in Boston and Philadelphia, also were canceled.
Orlena is predicted to bring blizzard-like conditions and drop between 18 to 24 inches of snow in New York City from Monday into Tuesday, coupled with wind gusts up to 45 to 55mph.
Earlier on Monday, Cuomo declared a state of emergency for New York City and nine other counties throughout the Hudson Valley and Long Island.
Specifically, the counties included in the emergency declaration are Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Cuomo also issued an advisory for travelers and commuters – depending upon the severity of the storm, above ground subway service, as well as service on portions of the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North, may be significantly delayed or stopped by this afternoon.
A number of major roadways including the Long Island Expressway, I-84 and others could face travel bans if snowfall rates reach the expected two to three inch per hour rate.
New Yorkers are being urged to avoid all unnecessary travel. Those New Yorkers who must travel should do so with extreme caution and try to get to their destination before noon.
‘This storm is no joke and the main concern right now is that the expected snowfall rate of two inches per hour this afternoon creates an extremely dangerous situation on our roadways,’ Cuomo said in the statement.
‘When snow is falling that quickly, it makes it very difficult for plows to keep up with it. I want New Yorkers to hear me loud and clear – stay home and off the roads and if you must travel, get where you’re going before noon, and expect to remain home for some time.
‘We’ve been through this before and we will get through it again,’ he added.
Wind gusts could reach 50mph or more on Long Island, especially eastern Long Island where 60mph wind gusts could occur, while many places upstate could see up to 40mph wind gusts.
Blowing and drifting snow will likely cause reduced visibility and treacherous driving conditions in some places.
Snow has been falling in New York City since Sunday evening when Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency for New Yorkers.
All non-essential travel was restricted at 6am Monday.
‘New Yorkers should stay home, keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles and let our plows work to keep us safe. Make no mistake: this storm will bring heavy snowfall and it will make travel dangerous in every neighborhood in our city,’ de Blasio said in a statement.
New Yorkers woke up to a snowy city (aerial view of Manhattan) on Monday morning. On Sunday night New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a state of emergency where all residents are urged to stay home
Heavy snow falling at an inch to 3 inches an hour was forecast for Monday in New York (Manhattan pictured), New Jersey and Connecticut, the National Weather Service (NWS) said
A woman holds an umbrella in Times Square during a winter storm on Monday as she crosses a street
Several crashes were reported in New York City, with images showing a truck turned over on its side along 12th Avenue and W 50th St (pictured)
Firefighters were seen responding to the crash along 12th Avenue in New York City on Monday
Orlena is predicted to bring blizzard-like conditions and drop between 18 to 24 inches of snow in New York City (Bryant Park pictured) from Monday into Tuesday, coupled with wind gusts up to 45 to 55mph
A New Yorker is seen walking his dogs along a street in Brooklyn, New York, on Monday afternoon
Central Park has recorded 13 inches of snow as of Monday afternoon. People are seen walking through the park Monday morning
Heavy snowfall is seen in Central Park, Manhattan, as Winter Storm Orlena hovers over the New York City area on Monday
In-person learning was canceled in school districts across the Northeast on Monday, and many COVID-19 vaccination sites were closed.
‘It will be rescheduled quickly. We don’t want people out trying to get a vaccination and end up being in harm’s way during this weather,’ De Blasio said on NY1.
De Blasio also said on MSNBC Monday morning that outdoor dining has been suspended, the latest blow to the city’s beleaguered pandemic-hit restaurants.
Several crashes were reported in New York City, with images showing a truck turned over on its side along 12th Avenue and W 50th St.
Meanwhile, numerous flights across the US have been canceled.
According to flightaware.com, 1,640 flights were canceled in the US. The cancellations were mostly from airports in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington – disrupting travel that has already been heavily curtailed by the pandemic. Another 440 flights were also canceled for Tuesday.
All New Jersey Transit trains and buses were suspended. New York Waterway ferries also were suspended.
Amtrak canceled all Acela service between Boston and Washington and Pennsylvanian service between New York and Pittsburgh. Amtrak’s Northeast Regional, Keystone Service and Empire Service were operating on limited or modified schedules.
Temperatures were expected to be in the upper 20s to lower 30s for the New York City metro area.
Lara Pagano, a meteorologist with the NWS, said the nor’easter would be a ‘pretty slow mover’ as it brings heavy snow and strong winds through Tuesday.
‘It’s going to be a prolonged event,’ Pagano said. ‘We have snow that had made its way across much of Pennsylvania and into southern portions of New York and into Connecticut and much of New Jersey.’
A Pittsburgh Public Works salt truck is shown after sliding off Proctor Way in the South Side Slopes neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Monday. The driver of the truck wasn’t injured, according to the city public safety department
Workers were seen removing snow during a winter storm in Philadelphia on Monday
More than 100million people from the Midwest to the Northeast have received winter weather warnings in the powerful nor’easter. A man is seen plowing through snow early Monday morning in Stamford, Connecticut
Snow started falling just after 10pm on Sunday in Stamford, Connecticut. Accumulations so far are about 5 inches with the possibility of the area getting around 18 inches by Tuesday morning
A man is seen shoveling snow on Monday morning outside a business in Stamford, Connecticut
Drivers are seen braving the snowy roads during their Monday morning commute in Stamford, Connecticut
Largest snowstorms with a foot or more snow at Central Park, NYC (1869 to Present)
Amount (Inches) Date(s)
27.5 January 22-24, 2016
26.9 February 11-12, 2006
26.4 December 26-27, 1947
21.0 March 12-14, 1888
20.9 February 25-26, 2010
20.2 January 7-8, 1996
20.0 December 26-27, 2010
19.8 February 16-17, 2003
19.0 January 26-27, 2011
18.1 January 22-24, 1935 and March 7-8, 1941
18.0 December 26, 1872
17.7 February 5-7, 1978
17.6 February 11-12, 1983
17.5 February 4-7, 1920
17.4 February 3-4, 1961
16.0 December 19-20, 1948 and February 12-13, 1899
15.3 February 9-10, 1969
15.2 December 11-12, 1960
14.5 March 3-4, 1960 and March 1-2, 1914
14.0 December 5-7, 2003
13.8 January 22-23, 2005
13.7 December 21-22, 1959
13.6 January 19-20, 1978
13.0 January 15-16, 1879 and January 1-2, 1877
12.8 February 11, 1994
12.7 February 19, 1979 and December 15, 1916
12.5 February 13-14, 2014; February 7, 1967 and January 12-13, 1964
12.0 December 30, 2000 and February 9-10, 1926
Meanwhile, photos showed preparations in Massachusetts ahead of the storm. People were seen buying shovels and other supplies to make sure they are prepared for winter storm Orlena.
Others were seen throughout the region stocking up on groceries in anticipation of the storm.
In the storm, hundreds of vehicle crashes were reported. Maryland State police responded to more than 70 crashes and to 37 disabled or unattended vehicles.
Meanwhile, photos showed preparations in Massachusetts ahead of the storm. People were seen buying shovels and other supplies to make sure they are prepared for winter storm Orlena
Others were seen in Massachusetts stocking up on groceries in anticipation of the storm
Shoppers with loaded carts emerge from a Costco in Everett, Massachusetts ahead of Monday’s storm
A shopper loads his car in Everett, Massachusetts ahead of winter storm Orlena on Monday
Virginia State Police responded to more than 270 vehicle crashes and 240 stuck cars between midnight and 2pm Sunday.
Winter Storm Orlena started in California last week where it brought more than six feet of snow and heavy rain to some parts of the state before making its way to the Midwest by the weekend.
The storm system blanketed parts of the Midwest with the most snow some places had seen in several years.
Over the weekend, the Chicago O’Hare Airport recorded 9.9 inches of snow. There was about 11 inches of snow at Midway Airport, making it the biggest snowstorm the Chicago area had seen in more than five years. A total of 12.7 inches of snow was reported in parts of Illinois.
AccuWeather Chief Broadcast Meteorologist Bernie Rayno called the cold blast ‘monumental’.
A snowman sits on the grounds of the White House on Monday in Washington, DC
People pose for selfies with a snowman at the National Mall near the US Capitol building in Washington DC, on Sunday
Winter wonderland: A view of people strolling the snowy National Mall in Washington DC on Sunday above. The nation’s capital is expected to get six to 10 inches of snow in the first major snow storm of the year
President Joe Biden appeared to enjoy the winter weather as he walked through the White House surrounded by the snow
Mechanicsville, Virginia: Trucks clear snow from Mechanicsville Turnpike on Sunday morning
Mechanicsville, Virginia: David Rigby shovels his driveway during a snowstorm Sunday
All four firefighters inside were able to exit safely and were taken to hospitals for minor injuries as officials warned locals to stay off the roads
In Henrico County, Virginia a Henrico County fire truck overturned on slick roads on while on a call on Sunday
More than 100 million people across the Midwest and Northeast face snowy conditions through Tuesday
Weather warnings are in place across the New York area, with gusts as high as 45mph forecast and up to two feet of snow
In Wisconsin, snow depths in some counties near Lake Michigan had reached more than 15 inches, and the snow was still falling.
‘That’s more snow than we’ve seen in a decade,’ Chris Stumpf, meteorologist with the NWS in Sullivan, Wisconsin, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Three to 5 inches of snow arrived in central Ohio by early Sunday, making for some slippery roads.
Washington, DC, and parts of Virginia had also received some snow, with up to 3 inches in some areas.
Snow and cold in Washington led President Joe Biden to postpone a visit to the State Department that had been planned for Monday.
A White House official said Sunday night that the visit would be rescheduled for later in the week when the agency’s staff and diplomats could more safely commute to attend.
Residents shovel out their vehicle from the snow in the Pilsen neighborhood after an overnight snowfall that dropped up to eight inches of snow in Chicago on Sunday
Residents in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, dig their cars out Sunday above
A view of a man cleaning snow off of his car during Winter Storm Orlena in Wheeling, Illinois on Sunday
Evanston, Illinois: For those who are getting ready to shovel, the snow in Illinois was forecast to be the heavy and wet snow that is often called ‘heart attack snow’ because of how physically taxing it can be to shovel it