A huge winter storm being referred to as a ‘bomb cyclone’ has teared its way across the United States east coast and parts of Canada’s east coast. The storm has dumped a maximum of 45 centimetres of snow onto streets with cyclonic gusts that forced workplaces, schools and airports to shut down.
This weather development is expected to be closely followed by a huge gust of ice cold air that may break records around the United States. Expectations are that the wind temperatures may fall to negative 40 degrees Celsius in certain areas.
Several states of emergency and blizzard warnings are in a wide effect across the east coast. The United States National Weather Service issues warning of winds reaching nearly 113 km/ph with almost 60 million people in the storm’s path.
Certain areas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are preparing for snowfall that will get to speeds of 75 mm per hour.
In North Carolina three people were killed when their vehicles slid off snow covered roads.
Over two-thirds of the flights at Boston and New York airports were cancelled. Flightaware, a flight tracking website, reported that over 3,200 flights had been cancelled around the United States.
It was reported that more than 100,000 people lost power to their homes during the storms. Virginia had a total of 45,000 power outages with only half of them restored so far.
Governor of Connecticut Daniel P Malloy said that they had opened over 100 warming centres across 34 towns.
Many businesses, schools and ferry routes were also closed in parts of Canada during the storms. Over 80,000 residents of Nova Scotia were left without power with parts of Halifax city completely blacked out.
A train commuter was killed on their way to Philadelphia when a vehicle was unable to slow down and stop at the bottom of a snowy hill. The vehicle slammed into the train and killed the passenger.
Dan Peterson, a National Weather Service Meteorologist said that he predicted record low temperatures for 28 big cities around New York, New England and several Mid-Atlantic States this weekend.
Local and state officials have since urged residents to stay at home so that clearing crews could clean up the streets of snow. There are fears that if the roads are not cleared soon the freezing wind will harden the snow, making it tougher to remove.
In some other areas the low temperatures had already started to cause water mains to burst open. In Florida the temperatures were so cold that iguanas were seen frozen dead and falling out of trees.