Washington: A life-threatening monster snowstorm has almost paralysed the entire US East Coast, leaving at least 16 people dead and prompting nearly 10 States to declare a state of emergency, media reports said today.
Thousands of people have been left powerless as the blizzard dumped between 15-25 inches of snow across the region.
At least 10 States declared a state of emergency and cities like New York City issued a travel ban for cars and stopped over ground metro services.
The New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned drivers of non-emergency vehicles that they would be subject to arrest if they violated the travel ban.
“New Yorkers should head home now. We need cars off the road so that our equipment can do its work and keep streets passable for emergency vehicles. Travel conditions are dangerous, and we want to keep all New Yorkers safe until this storm passes,” Blasio said.
Metro services in Washington DC have also been stopped over the weekend.
Ocean City in New Jersey reported coastal flooding as a result of the blizzard. The New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has declared a State of Emergency.
Thousands of flights have been cancelled and authorities across the East Coast have asked people to stay inside or at safe place.
Officials said it would take them several days to remove snow from the roads and to restore normalcy.
“This will be a rare event for the region as there are not many storms that bring a foot or more of snow over such a large area and last more than 24 hours,” said AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.
Police officials across the region said they responded to several thousand car accidents. On the Pennsylvania Turnpike about 500 vehicles were stranded, CNN reported.
The National Weather Service said a powerful low pressure system will bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions from the Middle Atlantic Region all the way through southern New England.
The heaviest snow is expected to fall over the Middle Atlantic Region including the Washington DC and Baltimore metro areas west to the Blue Ridge mountains. In addition, moderate coastal flooding is expected. The storm will taper off by Sunday, it said.