A storm bearing snow, sleet, and lashing winds rolled through the eastern United States on Wednesday, March 21, crippling public transit and closing schools in several cities as people in the region endured the fourth major snowstorm this month.
The nor’easter was on track to dump 12 to 18 inches of snow on areas from Philadelphia to New York City on Wednesday, said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, citing figures from the National Weather Service.
“Now the time frame to worry about again, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.,” he said. “You’re talking about 2 to 3 inches an hour, that’s very, very difficult conditions, very limited visibility, tough for our snow plows to keep up with. The No. 1 message is the evening rush hour is going to be very, very difficult. At times, it’s going to be very hard to see if you’re out there on the roads, want to encourage all New Yorkers right now, if you don’t need to be out this evening, don’t go out.”
The storm also lashed points along the East Coast with winds of more than 50 miles per hour, according to the Weather Prediction Center.
The wintry blast on the second day of spring was dubbed “four’easter” by some media because it came after three previous storms this month. Those nor’easters left nine dead and more than 2 million homes and businesses without power.
Airlines scrapped more than 4,400 flights into and out of the United States, according to flight tracking website FlightAware, and over 2,500 other flights were delayed.
While many were afflicted by the storm, it has played to advantage some too. Youth in New York City and Washington, D.C., where schools closed for the day, gave students plenty of time to make the most of the white stuff.