Blizzard Spares New York, Buries New England In Three Feet Of Snow

A powerful nor'easter packing winds in excess of 70 mph brought nearly 3 feet of snow to parts of New England. Travel bans have been lifted in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

What We Know So Far

  • A massive blizzard that was predicted to hit a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast U.S. spared New York City but slammed into Long Island, Boston, and some areas of New England.
  • Power outages were reported along the New England coast.
  • The National Weather Service said the storm moved further east than expected, and that its predictions were "subject to error."
  • Travel bans are being lifted: All roads in New Jersey and southern New York are open, and mass transit began running at 9 a.m. with limited service. There are still restrictions on roads, mass transit, and flights in New England.
  • A teenager died on Long Island while snow-tubing during the storm.
  • New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine declared states of emergency. New York City and many states shut down all streets except for emergency vehicles after 11 p.m.


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A time lapse video shot in Berlin, Massachusetts — which is about 20 miles from Auburn in Worcester County — shows several feet of snow piling up on a backyard deck.

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The storm dropped 33.5" of snow in Worcester, Massachusetts, breaking the city's all-time snowfall record, the National Weather Service said.

Worcester broke its all-time record snowfall with 33.5" as of 7 PM, beating 33.0" set back on April 1, 1997. Records kept there since 1905.

WOW... This was the BIGGEST snowstorm in Worcester MA since records began in 1905 with 33.5" of snow! #Fox25

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As much as 100 feet of seawall in Marshfield, Massachusetts, collapsed Tuesday during a pummeling from the ongoing blizzard.

The collapsed seawall led to flooding and that homes in the area.

Flooding also slammed Scituate, Massachusetts, where high tides swelled into city streets and inundated basements.

In Scituate, the National Guard spent Tuesday carrying out high water rescues of stranded residents and public safety personnel, The Boston Globe reported.

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New York and other areas largely escaped doomsday scenarios overnight Monday from a blizzard that instead pummeled New England.

At the Boston airport, 23.3 inches of snow had fallen by Tuesday evening, making it the biggest January snowstorm ever recorded. In nearby Worchester and Auburn counties, snowfall totals inched toward three feet late Tuesday.

Providence, Rhode Island, saw 14.2 inches, more than doubling the previous record for Jan. 27 of 6.7 inches. That record was set in 2011.

In Marshfield, Massachusetts, a the storm smashed through a section seawall and flooding warnings remained in effect through Tuesday evening. And in Rhode Island, the storm toppled the Continental Sloop Providence, a tall ship that was a replica of the USS Providence.

The record-breaking storm left snowplows scrambling to keep up and left 30,000 people without power in the Boston-Cape Cod region, the Associated Press reported.

Brutal winds topping out at more than 70 mph also raced over eastern Massachusetts. By Wednesday, temperatures in the Boston area were expected to bottom out at 1 degree.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio , meanwhile, may have shut down his city over the unexpectedly mild winter storm, but not his sense of humor.

During a new conference Tuesday de Blasio gave reporters a dramatic reading of an Onion article spoofing dire predictions that never materialized: "This shall be a tempest the likes of which has never been glimpsed by man or beast. Clutch your babes close to your breast and take small comfort in knowing that they will howl for but a few hours before death becalms them forever."

Predictions suggested there might be as much as two feet of snow. Instead, the total snowfall in New York City ended up being less than a foot.

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The travel ban has been lifted for four western counties in Massachusetts. The ban is in effect for the rest of the state.

Governor Charlie Baker said Nantucket is still dealing with a power outage, though parts of the island, such as the hospital, are being powered by generators.

The governor praised Massachusetts residents for following the travel ban issued. He said there were no arrests and no injuries reported, only a few citations issued.

Though a final cost for the clean up has yet to be determined, Baker said it could amount to more than $20 million, which is what the state spent to clean up after the storm in 2013. He added that because Massachusetts has not had any major snow storms this winter, most of the funds allocated for clean up are still there.

The Pilgrim Nuclear Station was shut down earlier but Baker said it is safe and secure and that it does not pose any threats.

Update: Travel ban has been lifted for Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, & Hampden Counties. Pike access still entirely restricted.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City schools will be open Wednesday.

In a press conference, the mayor praised sanitation workers for the work they did since yesterday. The city deployed 1,800 plows and 2,400 workers to cover 6,000 miles of roads — equivalent to going from New York City to Los Angeles and back.

All parks have reopened, but de Blasio advised New Yorkers to be cautious because the pathways are still slippery.

Alternate side parking and garbage pickup will be suspended Wednesday.

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There will be "significant" snowfall until 4 p.m., said Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo. The snow should be done by 10 p.m.

She asked all residents to stay home because it's "dangerous" on the roads. "It's bad," she said, adding that drivers who defied the travel ban have got stuck.

A six-wheel DOT dump truck flipped over while on the job, she said, and no one was hurt.

There were 500 power outages in the morning, and that number is currently down to 300.

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Rhode Island's governor is holding a news conference on the storm:

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New England towns continue to get slammed with heavy snowfall.

Snowfall rates continue at about 1–3 inches per hour in parts of Massachusetts.

In Western Massachusetts, Worcester has seen more than 2 feet of snow. The town of Shrewsbury recorded 30 inches.

Plymouth County and the Cape Cod bay has been hit hard with Plymouth and Falmouth getting 18 and 19 inches of snow, respectively. A coastal flood warning remains in effect for much of Cape Cod and Nantucket.

Wind gusts are measured at 50–70 mph in Plymouth. The blizzard has also shut down Plymouth's nuclear power plant.

#necnsnow there's a lake out there #Plymouth @NECN Really @MattNoyesNECN @JoeJoyceNECN

MBTA services are closed today and no flights are scheduled to arrive or depart from Logan airport.

In Hudson New Hampshire, just east of Nashua, a total of 21.5 inches of snow has accumulated.

Approximately 25 inches is expected in southeastern New Hampshire by the end of the day.

Total snowfall in New Hampshire towns so far:

Windham — 22.1 inches Hudson — 21.5 inches West Hampstead — 21 inches Nashua — 14 inches Salem — 16.2 inches

This is in no way the worst storm Maine's experienced, but snow is still falling rapidly. The snow keeps falling at 2 inches per hour. So far, South Portland has been hit with 8.8 inches of snow. By 7 p.m., another 3 to 7 inches of snow will fall in the north and west parts of the state.

The Portland, Maine airport is reporting heavy now and strong winds since 6 a.m. Visibility is also down.

So I've counted 3 humans in downtown Portland, Maine who strapped on skis and headed to work. #STORMCENTER

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A view of the streets of Scituate, Massachusetts, which is on the coast just southeast of Boston:

RT @malkoff: Streets of Scituate MA are underwater mixed with debris & chunks of slushy icebergs. #blizardof2015

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Transportation around Boston is still hobbled:

T services closed today. Bus lines, Steamship Authority also closed. Logan has no scheduled flights departing or arriving.

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>12 million people still under Blizzard Warning: | #blizzard0f2015

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New York City subway service is starting up:

A train prepares to make the first run through Stillwell Terminal as subways begin gradual restoration of service.

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Here's the scene on I-95 in Rhode Island:

Not a soul on I-95 in downtown Providence, RI before 9am on a Tuesday of all things! thanks to the #blizzardof2015

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All of Nantucket, Massachusetts, is out of power.

At this time all of #Nantucket is out of power. @nationalgridus & @TownofNantucket are working to restore power as quickly as possible.

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The snow band has settled over New England, dropping about 2 to 4 inches an hour:

[830a] N-S snowband nearly stationary over E & Central MA into NE CT / RI; snowfall rates 2-4"/hr w/n the band!

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Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy lifted travel ban for local roads in Fairfield and Lichfield counties effective 8:30 a.m. ET.

The travel ban remained in place for the rest of the state and the highways. Coastal flood warning has also been lifted.

Malloy said that the most areas received less snow than expected, although eastern Connecticut had significant and continued snowfall that was getting heavier.

Since the travel ban went into effect last night, the state reported 11 accidents on the highway and one minor injury, Malloy said.

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Here's the National Weather Service's latest report on Long Island conditions:
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Of the 12,804 customers served by National Grid in Nantucket, Massachusetts, 12,800 have been been affected by power outages.

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Cuomo: Upstate New York got "devastated" by the storm because a lot of the resources needed there were deployed to downstate New York.

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Cuomo: "The storm ... was less destructive than predicted."

While New York City saw four to six inches of snow, parts of Long Island were hit with up to 16 inches.

Long Island didn't escape the blizzard-like conditions. Governor Cuomo said Suffolk County, on the east of the island, is experiencing "significant issues" with 12 to 14 inches of snow.

The MTA is in the process of bringing subways, Metro-North, and LIRR trains out and service will begin at 9 a.m. "By noon, the system should be back to Sunday service," or about 60%. A full schedule will run on Wednesday.

Metro North and much of the Long Island Rail Road will run on a Sunday schedule as of noon, Cuomo said.

PATH train service is expected to start up again around 9:30 a.m.

Cuomo said shutting down the MTA and instilling a travel ban were the right things to do.

"Because the roads were empty, we were able to plow the roads," he said.

Snow cleaning equipment will be deployed from New York City to Long Island and to Suffolk County, Cuomo said.

At the regional airports, there are still heavy cancelations. While the roads are passable, they are still dangerous, he added.

"The drive from Long Island is an ugly, dangerous drive," he said.

Anyone getting into a car in New York should expect delays, as there is still snow and ice on the roads.

Per @NYGovCuomo @MetroNorth in NY State and much of @LIRR will run on a Sunday schedule as of noon

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers an update on the storm and travel bans. Watch it here:

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Subway, bus, and commuter rail service in and around New York City will come back online during the course of the morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on CNN.

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Here are the National Weather Service snowfall reports for Massachusetts and Rhode Island:

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A 17-year-old boy on Long Island died while snow-tubing during the winter storm, the AP reported.

Teenager Sean Urda of East Northport, Long Island, died after hitting a utility pole while snow-tubing down a street in Huntington, police told the AP.

As the AP reported:

The boy was one of three teens taking turns snow-tubing. Police say he apparently lost control of the tube and struck a light pole.

Long Island was under a blizzard warning at the time of the crash.

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The travel bans in all of New Jersey and in southern New York counties, including the city, have been lifted:

The travel ban in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, Westchester, Nassau counties & NYC is lifted effective at 7:30 a.m today

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The usually bustling Grand Central Terminal in New York was empty on Monday evening. The MTA has more photos here.

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Some tourists enjoyed a deserted Times Square after the mayor shut down roads to emergency traffic only.

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Maine Governor Governor Paul LePage declared a state of emergency.

"The amount of snow and the high winds, along with blowing and drifting snow, makes this storm dangerous for many Mainers," said the governor. "We want everyone to stay off the roads and stay safe."

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There are hundreds of power outages along the cape in Massachusetts:

Most power outages reported in SE coastal towns and Cape: Marshfield has 883, Barnstable 824.

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Here are some snowfall estimates from the National Weather Service:

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The National Weather Service explains that its dire predictions for New York were "subject to error."

Facebook: NWSNewYorkNY
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Passengers on a Virgin Atlantic flight were forced to sit on the tarmac at New York's JFK Airport for six hours before the flight was canceled.

Sat on this flight for 5 hours, we taxied three times, de-iced twice. a technical issue cancels flight. #VS004 JFK -> LHR cancelled #juno

The silly thing is, the storm had almost nothing to do with the cancellation. #VS004 #Juno

we're stuck at JFK, no roads, no cabs, no stores open, no hotel rooms. Nightmare. This is the line coming off flight

This is my bed for the night. Camping out at JFK after my flight was delayed first due a man falling Ill, then t...

Flight VS4 from New York to London was scheduled to take off at 6:30 p.m., but returned to the gate after midnight over de-icing issues and a sick passenger.

"There's nothing to drink, nothing to eat. It's a disaster," Alexis Dehasse told NBC News.

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Heavy snow and strong winds blasted the region overnight as the nor'easter approached New England.

12:35a: Heavy snow with 1/4 mile visibility now being reported in Central Park with gusty winds. 5.5" snow total so far.

Extremely heavy snow falling at the NWS NY office under classic heavy snow band. Yellows/oranges very heavy snow:

New winner for winds, 72 mph at Nantucket airport at 2:22AM

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National Weather Service Meteorologist Gary Szatkowski apologized early Tuesday for what he called a "big forecast miss."

My deepest apologies to many key decision makers and so many members of the general public.

You made a lot of tough decisions expecting us to get it right, and we didn't. Once again, I'm sorry.

This is a big storm further off to our northeast. New York City will see good amounts of snow, and for portions of New England it will... very high impact. But for much of New Jersey, and for the Philadelphia Metropolitan area, this is a big forecast miss.

Forecasters at the Mount Holly, New Jersey, office had previously predicted nearly a foot of snow for the Philadelphia area and issued a winter storm warning. The warning was later canceled and the snowfall forecast was downgraded to two to three inches.

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The normally busy Penn Station was eerily empty early Tuesday as snow arrived in New York.

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has suspended all PATH train service due to the blizzard.

PATH service is suspended until further notice. #BlizzardOf2015

Uber also suspended car service in New York after the city's travel ban took effect late Monday.

Uber service in NYC is suspended until further notice.

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N.J. Gov. Chris Christie has ordered a statewide travel ban beginning at 11 p.m. ET.

Christie said the travel ban excludes emergency and public safety personnel as well as utility companies and others assisting in storm preparedness and recovery.

Latest #blizzardof2015 update: NJ is implementing a travel ban for the entire state beginning at 11pm tonight given the impending storm.

This travel ban excludes emergency & public safety personnel as well as utility companies & others assisting in storm preparedness&recovery.

This travel ban will be subject to revocation at daybreak depending on conditions then. #blizzardof2015

The forecast remains on track & we are still expecting white out conditions & up to 20 inches of snow throughout the state. #blizzardof2015

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Photos captured the potentially historic snowfall Monday as the storm barreled into the Northeast.

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All mass transit in New York City will stop by 11 p.m., with restrictions placed on roads in the city and a number of affected New York counties, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday afternoon.

Roads will be closed to non-emergency vehicles, with people facing fines of up to $300 if they violate the state order.

Officials also announced "virtually all" flights at LaGuardia Airport would be canceled Tuesday, while many flights at JFK would also be affected.

"The feeling is the storm has gotten worse," Cuomo told reporters. "The forecast is the snowfall gets worse overnight. Whatever we're looking at now we think is going to be exponentially worse tomorrow morning."

"The good news is the sun will come out again," he said. "We just don't know when."

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Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Monday that the entire state would be placed under a travel ban as of 9 p.m.

Malloy urged all residents of his state to get off the road as soon as possible and find a place to weather the storm.

"Make no mistake, this storm has the potential to be extremely powerful and dangerous," he said in a news conference.

Malloy said if residents choose to flout the travel ban they are putting their own lives at risk and the lives of first responders.

He also said all nonessential state employees have been ordered not to report to work on Tuesday and he encouraged all private companies to follow suit.

The National Guard is working with law enforcement to prepare for the storm, Malloy added.

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Here are some helpful links for people in blizzard-affected states:

Connecticut * Check the status of public transport here. * Check the status of roads here.

New Jersey * Check the status of buses here. * Check the status of trains here. * Check the status of roads here. * Check the status of flights at Newark Liberty International Airport here.

New York * Check the status of public transport in New York City here. * Check the status of public schools in New York City here. * Check the status of roads here. * Check the status of flights at JFK International Airport here. * Check the status of flights at LaGuardia here.

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All Broadway shows scheduled for Monday evening have reportedly been canceled in New York City.

JUST IN: All Broadway shows in New York City have been canceled for tonight due to the impending winter storm.

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At 11pm tonight, if nothing changes, we will impose a travel ban on all roads on Long Island except for emergency personnel. #blizzardof2015

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The Cost Of Blizzards: $1.2 Billion A Year Since 1995

BuzzFeed News reporter Matthew Zeitlin:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the three months where people miss the most work thanks to weather are December, January, and February, with almost 2% of workers having a weather-caused absence in January.

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The developing storm as seen from NASA satellites:
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a ban on all non-emergency vehicles on city streets after 11 p.m. on Monday in preparation for the blizzard.

De Blasio called the travel ban a "common sense" move because the blizzard has the potential to be one of the biggest the city has ever seen.

He said the ban includes any vehicle used for leisure, non-emergency travel, or convenience, including bicycles.

"As of 11 p.m. get out of the way so we can make this city safe," he said.

De Blasio also announced that city schools would be closed on Tuesday and city parks would be closed as of 6 p.m. on Monday.

De Blasio warned that the storm is expected to increase in strength very suddenly, and New Yorkers need to be vigilant to keep themselves safe.

"Get off the roads, get off the streets," he said. He later added, "People have to make smart decisions from this point on."

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Mayor Bill de Blasio addressing the storm:

View this video on YouTube
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in the New York City metropolitan area and a number of other surrounding counties because of the snowstorm.

"Mother Nature has decided once again to come visit us in an extreme way," Cuomo told reporters in New York City. "Our own information has confirmed that this is a serious blizzard. It should not be taken lightly. It could affect health and safety."

Nonessential state employees will be released at 3 p.m. PT, Cuomo announced.

New York City's subway system is expected to run as normal until 7 or 8 p.m., after which time there will be limited service. Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road trains will run until 11 p.m. on a normal schedule, while PATH trains will continue on their usual schedule until approximately 9 p.m. before reverting to a weekend schedule. However, Cuomo warned the times may change later this afternoon as forecasts become clearer.

The governor also said he is considering a travel ban on main roads after 11 p.m.

"It could be a matter of life and death, and that's not being overly dramatic, so caution is required," Cuomo said.

The governor said his administration has been preparing for the snowstorm for three days, with 750 snowplows from across the state heading south to the affected areas. Cuomo noted it marked the reverse of just a few weeks ago, when snowplows headed north to Buffalo, which sat under 7 feet of snow.

Several hundred National Guard members have also been deployed, Cuomo announced, while 50,000 pounds of salt will be used on roads and sidewalks.

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Massachusetts has also declared a state of emergency, and a statewide travel ban will begin at midnight.

A State of Emergency for the entire Commonwealth was declared today (1/26/15) as of noon (1200pm) #MASnow

#BREAKING.@MassGovernor announces @MBTA shutdown at midnight tonight (Mon 1/26) - no Tuesday service. #MAsnow #alert

#BREAKING @MassGovernor announces statewide travel ban at midnight tonight (Mon 1/26) until further notice Details to follow #MAsnow #alert

Travel bans will go into effect in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Schools are expected to be closed throughout the region.

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Thousands of flights have been canceled. Details here.

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Gov. Christie declared a state of emergency for New Jersey.

Because of the the impending weather conditions I am declaring a state of emergency for all of NJ. #blizzardof2015

Christie said this is going to be a "significant storm" and urged residents to stay off the roads and inside their homes.

He said the worst conditions are expected from 9 p.m. ET tonight to noon tomorrow. Many schools would close today and tomorrow because of the storm, Christie said.

He urged residents to stay at home starting today afternoon and all of tomorrow. "Staying off the roads allows our first responders and public safety officials to safely respond to any emergency situations," Christie said.

At least two feet of snow is expected in the northeastern and coastal counties, Christie said.

"For better or for worse we know how to deal with these weather situations," Christie said, adding, "but you never know with these storms."

By 10 p.m. ET NJ Transit will be closed.

From 9pm tonight to 9am tomorrow will be the worst times for this storm. I ask everyone to pls stay home during those times. #blizzardof2015

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Watch New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's briefing on the blizzard scheduled for 12 p.m. ET here:

View this video on YouTube
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to give a press conference at 12 p.m. ET on the blizzard. You can watch it here:

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Meanwhile, at the Whole Foods in Brooklyn:

The line is so long at Brooklyn Whole Foods that staff are handing out hors d'oeurves #snowstormproblems #snowstorm2015

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Here's the scene at the 14th Street Whole Foods in Manhattan:

#blizzardof2015 the whole foods in Union Square is completely stocked but the line is pure insanity

Abandoned baskets at 14 st whole foods from those who could not take the line. @DNAinfo

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Light snow has begun to fall in New York City but a meteorologist is warning the worst is yet to come.

The light snow Monday is just an "appetizer" for the blizzard bearing down on the Northeast, Chris Vaccaro of the NOAA told BuzzFeed News. The worst of the storm will begin Monday night and continue into Tuesday.

The storm is expected to wallop millions from Philadelphia to Maine with more than 2 feet of snow in some areas and winds of up to 75 miles per hour.

Northeast residents planning to travel on Tuesday should strongly reconsider their plans, Vaccaro said. He urged residents who choose to travel to exercise "extreme caution."

"Traveling on Tuesday will be very difficult, if not impossible," he said.

The storm has the potential to be one of the top 10 or even top five biggest snowfalls in New York City history, Vaccaro said.

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The storm is already affecting air travel, with Logan Airport in Boston announcing it would shut down Monday night. Airports as far away as San Diego reported delays or cancellations due to the storm.

#BREAKING: @BostonLogan says no flights after 7p Monday. Anticipated re-opening late Wednesday.

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States are putting restrictions on travel ahead of the storm. All of Connecticut was placed under a travel ban early Monday.

We will issue a travel ban for the entire State of #CT beginning at 9PM this evening

Reporting by Stephanie McNeal, Mary Ann Georgantopoulos, David Mack, Tasneem Nashrulla, and Tom Namako.

This is a developing story. Please check back here and at BuzzFeed News on Twitter for updates.

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