Residents of the East Coast are hunkering down and desperately trying to stay warm this Thursday as a massive winter storm – classified as a “bomb cyclone” – devastates the region, causing heavy snows and powerful winds that have led to blizzard warnings in seven states.
Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Virginia were expected to be the hardest hit by the storm and any potential blizzards, the New York Times reported. Widespread school shutdowns were seen as far south as Georgia and other states that do not typically experience snow or bitterly cold temperatures.
Additionally, roughly 3,600 flights were canceled by Thursday afternoon, while over 300 flights scheduled for Friday were canceled nationwide.
The intense chill, which could last for days, has placed an immense burden on the infrastructure in certain areas. Tens of thousands of households were left without power in Virginia on Thursday morning, while power companies in other areas have warned of fuel shortages caused by the sudden uptick in heating usage in homes and commercial buildings.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for parts of southern New York, including Long Island and New York City, where most of the city is expected to receive between five and eight inches of snowfall. Pictures and videos out of New York City show streets covered in snow and blanketed by a white haze as snow plows try to clear roadways.
A storm is classified as a bomb cyclone if its pressure falls 24 millibars in 24 hours; the storm currently plaguing the East Coast dropped a whopping 59 millibars in 24 hours, the Washington Post reported. That could make it one of the most serious storms ever to hit the region.
“This storm is intense!” tweeted the Boston branch of the National Weather Service. “ Expect the unexpected.”
[9a] Storm is ramping up big time; conditions deteriorating with moderate to heavy snow banding and embedded #thundersnow. This storm is intense! Expect the unexpected. #bombcyclone #bombogenesis pic.twitter.com/bmFkzsMKcO
— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) January 4, 2018
Residents in coastal New England were warned to avoid coastal areas as major waves and flooding were reported in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.
Temperatures are expected to slowly rise back to normal levels by early next week.