Flights cancelled as severe storm hits eastern US

Billy Carey and Justin Plaza at right from Boston Fire Rescue swift water team haul their boat after saving a man from his flooded car on Commercial Wharf during the storm on Thursday

The northeastern United States on Friday slowly emerged from the travel chaos sparked by heavy snows, but forecasters warned the weekend would bring record-breaking cold.

Thousands of flights were cancelled, firefighters scrambled to rescue motorists from flooded streets in Boston, National Guard troops were mobilized in the Northeast and New York City's two main airports halted flights because of whiteout conditions.

Commuters who braved the storm in the morning anxious that they could be stranded during the storm's peak expected later in the day.

Schools were closed through much of the region, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said schools in his city would remain closed tomorrow.

By Thursday it was wreaking havoc as blizzard warnings and states of emergency went into effect along the Eastern Seaboard. The National Weather Service forecast winds as high as 70 miles per hour, which downed power lines.

After bringing rare snowfall to the southeast a day earlier, the storm carried rapid accumulation and high winds to NY, where subway systems appeared less crowded than usual as many commuters heeded officials' warnings to stay home.

Eastern Massachusetts and most of Rhode Island braced for as much as 7.5cm of snow per hour as high winds caused coastal flooding from Massachusetts to ME, overwhelming fishing piers, streets and restaurants.

From Baltimore to Caribou, Maine efforts were underway to clear roadways of ice and snow as wind chill temperatures were to plunge during the day, reaching -40 F (-40 C) in some parts after sundown, according to the National Weather Service.

The rising waters also stranded people in homes and cars. Boston Fire Department officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Motorists splash through storm surge flooding along Lynn Shore Drive during a snowstorm on Thursday
Flights cancelled as severe storm hits eastern US

Weather experts and meteorologists have said that the winter storm could probably be a bomb cyclone due to the unusual atmospheric pressure drop that has led to conditions that are characteristic of a hurricane.

The wintry weather has been blamed for at least 13 deaths over the past few days, including three fatalities in North Carolina traffic accidents and three in Texas due to cold.

More than 3,500 USA airline flights were canceled. Schools were ordered to close in NY, many parts of New Jersey, Boston and other cities through the region.

Passenger train operator Amtrak was running reduced service in the Northeast.

In the southeast, some cities saw their heaviest snowfall in almost 30 years yesterday, according to AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Alan Reppert. Federal government offices planned to delay opening for two hours on Thursday, while state officials in CT and MA ordered non-essential workers to stay home.

In Canada, more than 80,000 customers were hit by power outages in the province of Nova Scotia on Thursday evening, leaving parts of the city of Halifax in the dark as the massive storm arrived from the United States. Charleston, South Carolina, received 5.3 inches of accumulation, within an inch of its record.

That raised fears that people would be left without power and heat on Friday and during the weekend when temperatures are forecast to drop sharply.

"Due to strong wind gusts, any power outages are expected to be prolonged because bucket trucks can not withstand the winds", Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy told reporters.

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