© Reuters. A pedestrian stands as the snow falls during a Nor’easter winter storm in New York City, U.S., February 13, 2024. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
By Brendan O’Brien and Rich McKay
(Reuters) -A powerful, fast-moving winter storm was blanketing the U.S. Northeast on Tuesday with heavy snow, creating treacherous driving conditions for millions of Americans, while forcing schools to close and wreaking havoc on air travel.
More than 30 million people from West Virginia northeast into New England were under a winter storm warning as the Nor’easter pummeled parts of the area with as much as 6 inches (15 cm) of heavy, wet snow overnight, the National Weather Service said.
In New York City, the nation’s most populous city, rain turned to snow in the early morning hours. The city was expected to get as much of 7 inches of snow throughout the day, making for hazardous driving conditions.
Snow was falling at a rate of up to 2 inches an hour across the Lower Hudson (NYSE:) Valley, just north of New York, the city’s emergency management agency said on X.
“These bands will shift south over the next few hours through about noon, leading to quickly covered roads and hazardous driving conditions,” the agency said, urging drivers to exercise caution.
New York Mayor Eric Adams in a video posted on X from the city’s Queens borough said plows were out in full force clearing streets.
“The roads are not bad; there is some wet, heavy snow coming down,” he said. “It’s great to see there has been little or no cars on the road.”
Jan Gautam, the head of the Manhattan-based snow removal company Novus Maintenance, said he was up all night and into the morning assembling his crews to run more than a dozen snow plows and 30 sidewalk plows to hit the streets on New York.
“Our phones haven’t stopped ringing since the snow started,” Gautam said. “We’ll be out there as long as it’s snowing.”
Gautam manages about 100 employees who service more than 250 customers across the city, including hospitals and hotels.
“In a storm like this, with so much snow coming fast, we have to go back to the same locations over and over, to keep it clear and safe,” he said.
Other parts of the region could get as much as 12 inches of snow before the storm races east and out of the area later in the day. Boston could get 9 inches of snow, prompting the city’s mayor to declare a state of emergency.
Some 155,000 homes and businesses were without power in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and West…