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Old 27-01-15, 15:22   #1
 
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United States of America New England Slammed as Powerful Storm Churns North




Updated 9:51 AM ET, Tue January 27, 2015



(CNN)óRise and shine, New England.

You can't -- or really shouldn't -- head out to Dunkin' Donuts for a pick-me-up coffee Tuesday morning. But you don't have to leave the house to get a jolt: Just look outside at the swirling, rapidly falling snow or listen to the howling winds.

New York City residents woke up breathing a sigh of relief after the blizzard of 2015 dumped snow there, but not to the extent some had feared. In fact, the blizzard warning once in effect for much of New Jersey and New York was lifted Tuesday morning.

For the rest of the Northeast, it's still too early to exhale.

"We have drifting (outside) our facility of up to 2 to 3 feet," Sgt. Mark Cabral from the Barnstable Police Department in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, said Tuesday morning. "It's still coming down pretty heavy, and it's whiteout conditions."

It's not just the Cape. Worcester had at least 25 inches of snow on the ground, with Boston also getting well over a foot, according to the National Weather Service.

And it's still coming. A blizzard warning remains in effect in some parts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts through early Wednesday morning. That means not just more heavy snow, but powerful winds gusting near hurricane levels.

Nantucket and its 15,000 or so residents have been lashed especially hard, with overnight gusts of 78 mph. Police Chief William Pittman told CNN that "we've lost power to the entire island." That's in addition to flooding, heavy snow and downed trees on the Massachusetts island.

The good news? People seemed to have heeded the warnings about a storm forecast as "crippling" and "potentially historic" by stocking up and staying inside. The Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said there were about 200 people in shelters statewide, while Cabral said Cape roads are largely clear of all but emergency vehicles.

One of the millions staying home is Rafi Menachem. As his wife, a doctor, stays stuck at work at Boston Medical Center, he's trying to hold down the fort in nearby Brookline.

"We're hunkered down with food, shelter and water," Menachem said. "I'm worried about electricity."



Boston Area Snow



In picturesque Marshfield, Massachusetts, waters soared over seawalls and flooded homes and businesses surrounding the Brant Rock Esplanade. Hundreds in that coastal town lost power.

"The worst part is the steady winds, I think they were approaching 50 mph," said Pittman, Nantucket's police chief.


Thousands of flights canceled


And if you're trying to escape this wintry mess by air, forget about it.

Some 4,650 flights in and out of the United States had already been canceled as of 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, the flight-tracking website Flightaware.com reported. That's on top of 2,800 scrubbed Monday. Hundreds more have already been called off for Wednesday.

The hardest-hit airports were in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Boston's Logan International Airport won't reopen until Wednesday.

The major U.S. airlines are offering fee-free rebooking of flights to and from the Northeast through Tuesday.

Amtrak said it was suspending Northeast Regional and Acela Express services between New York and Boston for Tuesday because of the weather.

Other Amtrak train routes in the region will operate at reduced frequencies, the rail line said.


From stocking up to snowball fights


The storm warnings seemed to impress even the most jaded Northeasterner, as groceries flew off store shelves from Brooklyn to Bangor.

Michelle Thompson, a professor who lives in New York, found little left at a Greenwich Village grocery store.

"These are the sorts of supplies New Yorkers need," she said, gazing at the empty shelves. "Apparently, fresh bread is imperative as well eggs. Don't forget the dried pasta and sauce!"

It was the same story at the Star Market, where Menachem shops in Boston.

"A majority of the produce, deli meats, eggs, milk and bread were all gone," he said.




Shoppers clear the shelves at a Star Market in Boston


Still, it's not like everyone was shaking in their snow boots.

As Steve Nogueira, a retired meteorologist who lives in Taunton, Massachusetts, said, "We're New Englanders," We've done it before."

And the coastal city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, could soon be shaking for a different reason. More than 1,000 have been invited, via Facebook, to a massive community snowball fight -- one that organizer Devin Murphy joked is in the proud tradition dating back to around 1624, when the city was first settled.

"Hitch up those sled dogs you keep for days like this and get up here," wrote one participant. "LOL."
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