Winter storm hits Northeast with heavy snow, wind

6:06 AM, Jan 3, 2014   |    comments
Kevin Pokorny works on his third house clearing snow for neighbors in Barrington, Ill., on Jan. 2, 2014.(Photo: Bob Chwedyk, AP)
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USA TODAY - A massive winter storm pounded the Northeast early Friday with heavy winds and driving snow, shutting down Boston's airport, and prompting cancellations of thousands of flights as well as state emergency declarations in New York and New Jersey.

The onslaught was forecast to continue Friday with more heavy snow, howling winds and bitterly cold temperatures.

The National Weather Service said 21 inches of snow had fallen in Boxford, just north of Boston. Parts of Upstate New York had 18 inches. In Central Park early Friday, the National Weather Service said just over 3 inches of snow had fallen.

Nationwide on Thursday, more than 3,000 flights were cancelled because of the weather and over 10,000 flights were delayed, according to FlightStats.com. By early Friday, hundreds more flights had already been cancelled or delayed.

The worst weather is expected along coastal New England and on Long Island, where blizzard warnings are in effect until late Friday.

"What a New Year's gift, to receive one last snowstorm as mayor," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who on Monday is leaving the office he has held for 20 years.

In New York, newly sworn in Mayor Bill de Blasio, who as public advocate in 2010 criticized his predecessor Michael Bloomberg for his handling of a post-Christmas storm, said hundreds of plows and salt spreaders would be on the streets.

"We have to get it right, no question about it," de Blasio said. "We are focused like a laser on protecting this city and getting everyone ready. We have all hands on deck."

The storm is expected to move off the coast by late Friday.

(Copyright © 2014 USA TODAY)

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