U.S. – East coast braces for snowstorm

U.S. - East coast braces for snowstorm

U.S. – East coast braces for snowstorm

The US East Coast is hunkering down as a major blizzard hits the region for the first time in four years. The storm is forecast to stretch from the Carolinas to Maine, packing hurricane-force winds in coastal parts. Five states have declared emergencies.

Heavy snow and strong winds were forecast to begin in parts of the Carolinas and Appalachia on Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service. The system will then intensify and bring snowy conditions up the east coast to New England, where forecasters warned of localised snowfall totals of up to 20 inch and wind gusts of 50 to 60mph.

Thousands of flights in the United States have been cancelled as parts of the East Coast braced for a shellacking by a powerful winter storm packing heavy snow and high winds.

Places in the northeast, including New York and Boston, were expected to bear the brunt of the far-reaching system, which is also predicted to pummel the mid-Atlantic.

Officials at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities said they are constantly in touch with utilities to monitor what could be a significant number of power outages. “We will make sure enough crews are deployed to the right places to minimize potential outages,” NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said in a statement.