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. 1608

    I would to take a drive in this, but the gov. said be off the road by 4pm.

    February 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aliza

      Not too bad yet here in Boston. Just a snow storm not a blizzard. Kids are very happy no school.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ancient Texan

    Ouch! These folks have already had their share of trouble and suffering.

    February 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Victoria

    Praying for everyone

    February 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      Am I saying hello to the right Victoria ? Well it really doesn't matter since I'm such a friendly person anyway. So, Hello Victoria.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dazzle ©

    I'm in coastal Maryland which is just windy and 42 degrees. I've received photos from relatives in Boston and it is snowing big time there.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      Are you expecting any of that weather in you area ? If so, you be safe my friend.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1608

      It's not big time yet. I'm 50 miles west and we get hit harder most of the time. Sorry but your state knows not about snow or cold.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dust off your feathers

    Nemo spelled backwards is omen.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      Well, Duuuuh.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GOP = Greed Over People (party)

    Nemo is coming

    February 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    50 degrees and sunny here in mile-high Denver right now. This has been one weird winter so far. Recently, we've had temps in the 60s and even as high as 70 not too long ago. Last summer saw record heat here, with more than 70 days of over 90 degrees. We need more snow right now, both in town and in the mountains, but those snowstorms of two feet or more at a time can stay away! Good luck to all those in the NE. Maybe it will not be as bad as feared.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Patrick

    My advice is to stay inside and try to keep warm. Also drink soup and hot chocolate.

    February 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 1608

    Patrick I don't have soup will brandy work?

    February 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Luke

    It's another gorgeous day in California!!

    February 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 1608

    If you are in Ma. do not drive. cnn keep this post up, if you check it out it can cost up to one year in jail......

    February 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 1608

    3:35 is trollin

    February 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. heidi baldwin

    columbia county ny not even an inch so far snow began around noon or so

    February 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill in Masatuces

    I'm still out in traffic. No way everyone here will be I'm by 4pm. It's already after and traffic is backed up. Snowing like everything here.

    February 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hank

    Our home Is in Gloucester. Snow is coming down so hard you can see the trees. Visibility maybe 10 ft.

    February 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hank

      sorry – my fingers are cold. "Can't see the trees"

      February 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
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