At least eight people have died because of these weather conditions, according to local officials. Six died in North Carolina, one in Virginia and one in Kentucky. “All were victims of traffic accidents” since early storm Friday, explained the spokesman of the North Carolina Emergency Departments, Nicole Meister. In Kentucky, it is the collision of a vehicle and a snowplow that was fatal, according to the spokesman for health affairs Jill Midkiff.
Some 230,000 power outages
The weight of the snow, which exceeded 40 cm in the heart of the capital, has led many power cuts, in a country where the power grid is seldom buried. Nearly 140,000 people are experiencing outages in North Carolina, according to the emergency services. In New Jersey, 90,000 residents were without power early this afternoon, said Governor Chris Christie ..
For several days the weather websites announced the arrival of the record storm, which expected to affect much of the eastern United States from Washington to New York.
“I want to be very clear with everyone. We see this as a major and potentially deadly storm”, said Friday the mayor of Washington, Muriel Bowser.
Fifteen affected States
Some 85 million people, a quarter of the US population, could be affected by the storm, dubbed “Snowzilla” by the Washington Post, in reference to the destructive giant lizard of the Japanese film, “Godzilla”.
Fifteen states should be affected, from the Atlantic coast (between New York and South Carolina) to Arkansas in the South.
Roads and Transportation impassable
In Washington, where buses and subways have been totally interrupted for all weekend, only a few police cars and pedestrians wandered wrapped in fully empty streets. Everywhere officials are struggling to ask the public not to move and to stay warm at home. An injunction was not respected by the giant panda Washington Zoo, Tian Tian, which was filmed rolling around in the snow with delight.
Further north, Jonas reached in New York night from Friday to Saturday. By midmorning, 29 cm of snow had already fallen in Central Park. The intensity of the storm on the largest city in the United States has been revised upwards, so that the authorities banned at the beginning of the afternoon, all traffic except for emergency vehicles .
“It will most likely be one of the worst snowstorms in the history of the city,” assured the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio.
Railway lines to the north and east of New York had to be suspended in the early afternoon, as the external lines of the subway.
“Unless it is an emergency, you should not be on the roads,” said the Governor of the State of New York, Andrew Cuomo, who said emergency state.
The New Jersey Governor suspends his campaign
The Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has put aside his campaign for the Republican primaries to oversee relief. Thousands of motorists were trapped and caught in Kentucky, along the highway I75 icy, causing a huge traffic jam sixty km overnight from Friday to Saturday. In Philadelphia, north of Washington, the majority of public transport were also suspended as a precautionary measure, as well as in New Jersey.
Several sporting events were canceled, including two games of the National Hockey League (NHL) scheduled Saturday and Sunday.