East Coast braces for nor'easter

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Leinz Vales, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 0124 GMT (0924 HKT) January 29, 2022
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8:05 p.m. ET, January 28, 2022

Massachusetts governor urges residents to "stay off the road" ahead of winter storm

From CNN’s Kiely Westhoff

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is urging people to stay off the roads ahead of a winter storm that may yield upwards of 24 inches of snow in some parts of the state. 

The storm is forecasted to begin Friday night and pick up significantly on Saturday morning. The National Weather Service predicts two to four inches of snow will fall every hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. tomorrow, according to Baker. 

“This is going to be a very big storm. Probably one of the biggest we’ve experienced in the last few years,” Baker said. 

“This kind of storm is nothing new for Massachusetts, but we have not had one like this for quite a while and everybody needs to take it very seriously.” 

While snowfall is expected statewide, some areas in eastern Massachusetts may have totals upwards of 24 inches, according to Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler. 

Eastern Massachusetts may also experience sustained winds of 40 to 50 mph, with gusts up to 70 mph on the cape and other pockets; and flooding in coastal areas, the governor said. There will likely be widespread power outages in the region as a result, Baker said. 

There will be significant snowfall across greater Boston and into central Massachusetts as well. 

State public safety and transportation officials joined Baker in urging members of the public to stay off the roads unless it is an emergency. 

“Everyone should stay off the road tomorrow unless it’s an emergency or you have some very essential and absolute reason for being out,” said Baker. Snow and ice crews have been preparing for several days, but “snow will be falling practically as fast as they plow it,” according to Baker. 
7:17 p.m. ET, January 28, 2022

NHL postpones Kraken-Islanders game due to weather-related state of emergency in New York

The National Hockey League announced Friday that the Seattle Kraken vs. New York Islanders game scheduled for Saturday afternoon at UBS Arena has been postponed due to the weather-related state of emergency declared by New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

The game has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 2 at 7 p.m. ET.

7:06 p.m. ET, January 28, 2022

Over 3,000 US flights canceled for Saturday, as winter storm is set to pummel East Coast

From CNN's Jordan Valinsky

Airlines have canceled thousands of flights for Saturday as a powerful winter storm packing strong winds and possible feet of snow is set to envelop major cities on the East Coast.

According to FlightAware, more than 3,000 flights within, into or out of the United States are canceled Saturday, with East Coast hubs being the most affected.

Boston's Logan International Airport, which is a hub city for JetBlue and Delta Air Lines, has 310 cancellations. For Saturday, JetBlue has axed 50% of its schedule. About 17% of American Airlines' schedule and 22% of United's schedule for Saturday has also been canceled.

Republic Airways, a feeder carrier that operates flights under the names American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express, has canceled 62% of its schedule Saturday.

New York airports, including John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia, have more than 600 cancellations combined. Both of those airports have sizable operations for Delta, JetBlue and American. Newark Liberty in New Jersey, which is United's hub, has 301 cancellations.

Delta, JetBlue and United both have issued travel waivers allowing travelers flying from multiple East Coast airports to rebook without paying the fare difference.

"Delta's meteorology team in the airline's operation and customer center will continue to monitor the winter weather and make tactical adjustments as needed," the airline said.

7:06 p.m. ET, January 28, 2022

Here's how much snow New York and Boston could get from the nor'easter

The New York City and Boston metropolitan areas are set to get slammed by a winter storm tomorrow.

The National Weather Service in New York posted updated potential snowfall totals on Twitter, with Newark, N.J., expected to see about 8 inches, John F. Kennedy Airport getting 11 inches and Montauk coming in at a whopping nearly 18 inches.

Boston is expected to see even more snow, with some areas looking at more than 2 feet. The National Weather Service warned residents to expect snowfall of 2 to 4 inches per hour, with wind gusts of 55-70 mph expected across eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

7:43 p.m. ET, January 28, 2022

Rhode Island governor will implement travel ban on state roads

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee said he is putting a travel ban into place due to the impeding winter storm on Saturday.

The ban will be in effect from 8 a.m. ET until 8 p.m. ET, McKee tweeted.

A ban is also in effect for all tractor-trailers and motorcycles — except those carrying emergency supplies — from 6 a.m. ET until midnight.

The entire state of Rhode Island is under a blizzard warning from the National Weather Service.

"Not only are we expecting large amounts of snow, we're also expecting high winds. And we're fully expecting whiteout conditions tomorrow. This is serious," McKee said at press conference. 

Earlier, McKee said the state Department of Transportation has 75,000 pounds of salt that will be used to preemptively treat roads tonight. The state has 150 plows of its own, in addition to 350 plows contracted through vendors, according to Transportation Department Director Peter Alviti, Jr.

The transportation department said road cleanup will likely stretch into Sunday.

5:52 p.m. ET, January 28, 2022

Blizzard warnings expanded ahead of weekend nor'easter 

New blizzard warnings are giving a clearer picture of the path of a nor'easter that will hit the northeast with strong winds and heavy snow.

According to the National Weather Service, blizzard warnings were expanded Friday and now cover millions of people in the following locations:

  • Southern Delaware
  • Central and eastern Long Island
  • Southeastern Connecticut,
  • Rhode Island
  • Eastern Massachusetts
  • Parts of eastern Maine

Here's a look at the warnings on the map:

5:29 p.m. ET, January 28, 2022

Homeland security adviser says administration is monitoring storm, working closely with FEMA

Homeland Security Adviser Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall released a statement ahead of this weekend's winter storm threatening the Northeast and parts of the mid-Atlantic, saying the administration will be monitoring the situation. 

"Be sure to pay close attention to the information and guidance that is provided by your State and local leaders and homeland security and emergency preparedness officials," she advised in the statement.

"We will be actively monitoring the storm’s projected impacts and working closely with [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] to ensure that we are prepared to support any needs for Federal assistance that may arise in your community," she said.

 

4:01 p.m. ET, January 28, 2022

Winter storm forces cancellation of various Amtrak lines tomorrow 

From CNN’s Greg Wallace

The impending winter storm is forcing Amtrak to cancel Saturday train service for various lines, including Acela service between Washington, DC, and Boston and the regional service between Boston and New York, the company announced Friday.

Limited service will operate between New York and Washington, DC, and points south.

Amtrak said it regrets any inconvenience, advising passengers to call 1-800-USA-RAIL if their trip has been impacted. Change and cancellation fees will be waived, Amtrak said.  

3:17 p.m. ET, January 28, 2022

New York declares state of emergency ahead of "one of the most significant storms" in years

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

(New York Governor's office)
(New York Governor's office)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a state of emergency beginning 8 p.m. ET as a nor'easter plans to wallop the northeast. 

Long Island will be among the hardest hit with 10 to 16 inches of snow, with up to a potential 1 to 2 inches of snow an hour, the governor said. 

Joining the governor was Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. 

“We are preparing for a blizzard, this is likely to be one of the most significant storms we have seen over the last several years here," he said.

Meanwhile, New York City and the Hudson Valley regions have lower predictions, but ultimately there will be “heavy snow gusty winds and difficult road conditions,” Hochul said. 

Janno Lieber, head of New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, detailed storm preparations for transit systems saying it was “likely to have a shutdown tonight" on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).

The LIRR was expected to take the biggest hit, and authorities were prepared to suspend service likely in the morning. 

There will also be suspensions on some Metro North train service lines servicing Connecticut. 

And Hochul's advice to drivers? “Just stay off the roads," she warned.