WASHINGTON – "Nemo," A huge storm with hurricane-force wind gusts and blizzard
conditions dumped more than 2 feet of snow across the US Northeast overnight.
The US National Weather Service said Saturday that the storm could reach "historic proportions."
Heavy snowfall has knocked out power to more than 650,000 homes and businesses in a densely populated region of about 25 million between New York City and Boston.
Airlines canceled more than 5,300 flights through Saturday, and the three major airports serving New York City, as well as Boston's Logan Airport, closed following a USNWS warning that travel was "extremely dangerous."
Nemo hits Boston (Photo: AP)
At least six deaths were blamed on the storm, including three in Canada.
The USNWS issued blizzard warnings for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine, as well as New York and New Jersey.
Flooding was a concern along the coast, but the storm did not appear to create major problems in New York and New Jersey, states hit hardest during October's Superstorm Sandy.
Toronto (Photo: Reuters)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency
throughout the state. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are also under states of emergency.
In Connecticut, where all roads were ordered closed Saturday, the snow made travel nearly impossible even for emergency responders, who found themselves stuck on highways all night.
Blanket of snow. Massachusetts (Photo: Reuters)
"It's a real challenge out there," First Selectman Michael Tetreau said. "The roads are not passable at this point. We are asking everyone to stay home and stay safe."
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick enacted a statewide driving ban for the first time since the Blizzard of 1978.
Manhattan (Photo: AP)
The wind-whipped snowstorm mercifully arrived at the start of a weekend, which meant fewer cars on the road and extra time for sanitation crews to clear the mess before commuters have to go back to work.
About 650,000 customers in the region lost power during the height of the snowstorm, most of them in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
In New York, hundreds of cars got stuck on the Long Island Expressway on Friday, and dozens remained disabled early Saturday as police worked to free them.
A little more than 11 inches fell in New York City, but the city was "in great shape" Saturday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, and he said streets would be cleared by the end of the day.