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  29 Jan 2022, 11:44

Thousands of flights canceled as Eastern US braces for winter storm

NEW YORK, Jan 29, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Thousands of flights in the United
States were canceled Saturday as parts of the East Coast braced for a
shellacking by a powerful winter storm packing heavy snow and high winds.

  Places in the North East, including New York and Boston, were expected to
bear the brunt of the far-reaching system, which is also predicted to pummel
the Mid-Atlantic.

  Salt machines and snowplows were at the ready in New York, where Mayor Eric
Adams tweeted that a foot (30 centimeters) of snow was predicted, but warned
that "Mother Nature has a tendency to do what she wants."

  Some 3,400 flights were already canceled for Saturday traveling within,
into or out of the United States, according to flight tracker FlightAware.

  Cancellations on Friday totaled more than 1,450.

  The National Weather Service warned of "whiteout conditions and nearly
impossible travel at times," along portions of the Mid-Atlantic and New
England coasts, with snowfall accumulations greater than a foot expected in
parts of the same region.

  The governors of New York and New Jersey declared a state of emergency
while Boston Mayor Michelle Wu declared a snow emergency.

  The storm will produce extremely cold temperatures with dangerous wind
chills Saturday night into Sunday morning, the NWS said.

  "Get home safely tonight, remain home over the weekend, avoid any
unnecessary travel," New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement,
singling out Long Island, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley for
particularly deep snow.

  The National Weather Service Eastern Region reported that the storm was
expected to intensify rapidly over the next 24 hours, with pressure expected
to fall around 35 millibars by Saturday evening. This rapid intensification
is sometimes referred to as a "bomb cyclone."

  The blizzard comes on the heels of a similar winter storm that blanketed a
swath of Eastern North America -- from Georgia to Canada -- just two weeks
ago, cutting power to thousands of homes and also disrupting thousands of
flights.

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