BOSTON, MA – A winter storm is bringing its fury to the Northeast on Monday, causing the cancellation of flights, classes and major court cases a day after it dumped up to a foot-and-a-half of snow on the Chicago area and blanketed much of the Plains and Midwest.
The weather system moved slowly eastward overnight through the Ohio Valley into Pennsylvania and western New York state. Then it went into New England, where residents had celebrated the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory days after digging out from a massive storm that brought from 1 to 3 feet of snow to some areas.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) February 2, 2015
Here’s the outlook:
The snow storm, which had brought 17.5 inches of snow to O’Hare International Airport by early Monday, was expected to deepen off the southern New England coast, bringing accumulations of 9 to 16 inches to Boston and nearly as much to Hartford, Providence, southern New Hampshire and Vermont.
“For New Englanders, we’re used to this during the winter,” said Matt Doody of the National Weather Service. But he cautioned that both the morning and evening commutes would be messy.
Snowfall totals in New York state were to vary from 6 to 10 inches in Buffalo and Binghamton and 8 to 14 inches in Albany.
The Philadelphia area could receive up to an inch of snow and a little ice before rain washes it away. Forecasters expect about 3 to 5 inches to fall in the Lehigh Valley and 5 to 11 inches in the northern part of Pennsylvania.
Northeast Ohio, including Cleveland, could get 4 to 9 inches and Toledo and the northwest part of the state were headed for 3 to 7 inches.
TRAVEL AND OUTAGES
More than 2,300 flights were canceled Monday with about a seventh of them at Boston’s Logan Airport. On Sunday, more than 2,000 flights were canceled in the Midwest, the vast majority of which were in or out of Chicago’s two airports.
Public officials throughout New England announced parking bans ahead of the storm so crews could keep the roads clear.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said state government is planning a regular work day on Monday but he encouraged commuters to take public transportation.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said the state Department of Transportation had 2,250 trucks, 235 rental trucks and 200 additional trucks on stand-by along with 5,400 equipment operators ready to clear roads.
Amtrak planned to operate a normal schedule but with some modifications. It said it would have extra crews available to remove downed trees or make infrastructure repairs.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said residents should be ready for a snowy and icy commute. The city may get 2 to 4 inches of snow and ice is possible.
The Illinois Department of Transportation dispatched 350 trucks to clear and salt Chicago-area roadways ahead of Monday’s morning rush hour, and the city said late Sunday that it was sending out 150 more pieces of heavy equipment for road work.
DELAYS, CANCELLATIONS AND OUTAGES
The snowstorm is delaying two of the nation’s biggest court cases – the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez and jury selection in the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Proceedings were expected to resume Tuesday.
Across the country, hundreds of public schools canceled classes due to the danger of children traveling. Many parochial schools and colleges did the same.
The weather led to power outages, including roughly 10,000 ComEd customers in Illinois on Sunday evening. That number had been cut to 5,500 by midnight CST. The weather also cut power to nearly 8,000 northern Indiana homes and businesses.
Ohio officials said a Toledo police officer died while shoveling snow in his driveway Sunday and the city’s 70-year-old mayor was hospitalized after an accident while he was out checking road conditions.
The officer, who was not named, died of an apparent heart attack. City and medical officials say Mayor D. Michael Collins was hospitalized after he had a heart attack and his SUV crashed into a pole.
In Nebraska, a truck driver and a 62-year-old woman were killed in separate traffic accidents on snowy roads. In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said a 64-year-old man with a history of cardiac problems was found dead Sunday in his garage after shoveling snow.
SNOW DOES’T STOP SUPER BOWL FUN
Several of the Chicago area’s top tourist attractions closed early Sunday because of the weather, including the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and Brookfield Zoo. But officials with Comcast in Chicago said they had extra technicians on call to help resolve outages ahead of the Super Bowl.
The city’s pizzerias expected heavy demand for deliveries during the game. And bars hosting Super Bowl parties said they wouldn’t let the weather spoil their plans.
Kathi Kreger, manager at Brendan’s Pub, a Patriots’ bar on the city’s North Side, said locals would still trudge through the snow for the festivities.
“We’re used to this,” she said.
In the southeastern Wisconsin city of New Berlin, meanwhile, sports bar Matty’s Bar & Grill was prepared for a strong turnout, despite the weather.
“Here in Wisconsin, with the snow, we’re pretty used to it,” general manager Mark Lombardo said. “Lots of folks have the big four-wheel trucks. The snow doesn’t really slow them down.”