States declare emergencies ahead of major storm
A snowman is all smiles Friday on Boston Common.
February 8th, 2013
06:17 PM ET

States declare emergencies ahead of major storm

  • Potentially historic winter storm closes in on New England
  • Boston could get just under 2 feet; worst could hit from 5 p.m. Friday to Saturday morning
  • About 1 foot expected in New York City; heaviest snowfall there expected to start at 7 p.m. Friday
  • Check back here for the updates; full story here; see if storm affects where you live.

Up to 30 inches of snow. That's how much some predicted could be dumped on Boston by the time this blizzard was done - which would amount to a new all-time snowfall record for the Massachusetts city, one hardly unfamiliar with winter storms.

These kind of forecasts, throughout the Northeast, were matched by frequent calls by officials to hunker down. The governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut ordered cars off the roads. In Boston, that translated to largely empty streets - spare a few plows - on what would have been Friday rush hour.

That meant fewer people out to experience the elements - in the form of small, icy snowflakes blowing in winds that, in some places, gusted up to 60 mph. That intensity of snow, and wind, was expected to continue - if not get even stronger - into Saturday morning.

[Updated at 6:17 p.m.]  The storm has taken a toll on flights to and from the Northeast.

U.S. airlines have cancelled more than 4,700 flights that were to take off from Thursday to Sunday.

[Updated at 5:22 p.m.] CNN meteorologist Chad Myers explains part of why this storm is so worrisome: It combines two low pressure systems - one that had been dropping rain on Georgia, and another that was dropping snow on the Midwest.

The two centers are expected to combine around midnight. Somewhere around Rhode Island or Connecticut, Myers expects, might get around 36 to 40 inches of snow by the time the storm ends.

It's not just the snow that will be bothersome. Strong winds from the east are expected to bring storm surges of 3 to 5 feet onto parts of the Northeast coastline, Myers said.

Twenty-three million people live in the what the National Weather Service says is the blizzard warning area.
23 million people in blizzard warning area: Parts of northern New Jersey; New York City and Long Island; all of Connecticut and Rhode Island; parts of eastern Massachusetts, including Boston; and parts of southeastern New Hampshire and southern Maine.

[Updated at 5:09 p.m.] CNN's Jason Carroll reports from Boston that there's a little snow on the ground right now - the packing type, perfect for making snowballs. But the snow is expected to be powdery tonight - which, with strong wind gusts, will make visibility difficult.

Carroll talked to a woman who was out in south Boston with some children, getting in some sledding before conditions get difficult.

“I think it will be too much snow tomorrow to get out,” the woman said.

[Updated at 4:43 p.m.] More roads are closing - this time in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee said cars and trucks - except emergency and other select vehicles - are banned from traveling on highways after 5 p.m. Friday.

[Updated at 4:34 p.m.] New York state has followed Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in declaring a state of emergency because of the storm. If you're looking at the time that this is posted, catch New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press conference here.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>BREAKING: Governor declares state of emergency in <a href="">#NYS</a&gt; in response to storm <a href="">#nemo</a></p>&mdash; Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) <a href="">February 8, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

[Updated at 4:24 p.m.] Some driving are bans now in effect in Connecticut.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy says that cars and trucks - except emergency vehicles - are banned from traveling on at least some Connecticut highways after 4 p.m. as winter weather intensified across the region. Here's the order.

Earlier today, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick issued a driving ban - with some exceptions - that went into effect at 4 p.m. Generally, the exceptions are for public safety workers, public works employees, government officials, utility workers, health care workers and the news media. Get details here.

[Updated at 1:55 p.m.] Attention college-bound and potentially snow-bound students.

[Updated at 1:51 p.m.] Before the power goes out, make sure your cell phone's battery is charged. Here are five tips to stay connected during the storm.

[Updated at 1:33 p.m.] Get ready New York City!

[Updated at 1:03 p.m.] Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has signed an executive order banning vehicles on the road effective at 4 p.m. today, he announced at a press conference.

[Updated at 12:46 p.m.] "I have declared a state of emergency effective at noon today," Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced at a news conference.

[Updated at 12:39 p.m.] Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has declared a state of emergency, he announced in a press conference Friday.

"I have declared a state of emergency joining with our neighboring states in Connecticut and Massachusetts and asked for the state employees to go home at 1 o'clock today," he said.

[Updated at 11:36 a.m.] In Maine, a 19-car pileup outside of Portland temporarily closed roadways Friday morning, though all injuries were considered minor.

[Updated at 11:34 a.m.] Massachusetts Gov. Duval Patrick has put 6,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen on storm response duty, giving the order late Thursday, CNN's Larry Shaughnessy reports.

[Updated at 11:17 a.m.] Andrew Doba, with Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy's office says the governor will declare a state of emergency ahead of the storm.

[Updated at 10:41 a.m. ET] Up to 12,000 students scheduled to take the ACT on Saturday could be affected by a massive winter storm that's expected to engulf much of the Northeast this weekend.

Approximately 80 test sites out of 190 in the region have canceled ahead of the storm, Ed Colby a spokesperson for the tests tells CNN.

Each site will reschedule the test, students and parents can get information at

[Posted at 8:47 a.m. ET] The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will suspend all service today at 3:30pm ET.

The MBTA is the nations fifth-largest mass transportation systems with an average of 1.3 million passengers on weekday.

A massive winter storm was bearing down on the Northeast on Friday with forecasted snowfalls above two feet in some areas.

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Nice and sunny here in Seattle, I feel for all of you out East affected by this storm

    February 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Sunny in Seattle?? lol i dont believe it

      February 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yawn

      it snowed! We need FEMA dammit! What r we gonna do??? My life is forever changed and I need my govt handout now!

      February 9, 2013 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. the prophet

    No state has power over Mother Nature

    February 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lorraine

    The Perfect Blizzard!!

    February 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nathan

    bracing for the blizzard here in nova scotia canada

    February 8, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    Back Off! Snow Ho's... He's my Snow Man, All mine !!!!

    February 8, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    is that really a snowman in the picture? Or is that a picture of the Massachusetts governor?

    February 8, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    oh no.2 feet of snow, the world is coming to an end.

    February 8, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    They can take that snow and blow it out thier... I've been involved in far worse scenarios.

    February 8, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    True @ Jeff... And I'd like to declare Global emergency ...

    February 8, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mary

    Never mind Cnn, I'm too tired to fight with you... Night

    February 8, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Anzing

    The picture is of the Boston gardens Not the Boston Common.

    February 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
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