Ominous US blizzard brings New York to standstill
Updated: 2016-01-24 05:35
Capitol Hill police and snow plows work in Constitution Avenue during a winter storm in Washington January 23, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
"We're loving it. We definitely want to come back," said Michelle Jones, 46, a mortgage company controller who had tickets to see "The Phantom of Opera" with her daughter.
"We love the snow because we don't get this in Atlanta," she said, about an hour before the Broadway shutdown was announced.
The intensifying storm brought heavy bands of snowfall across Long Island, New York City and northeast New Jersey that generated 2 to 3 inches of snow an hour, with wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph), the NWS said.
New York City buses operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority were suspended at noon. New Jersey Transit earlier on Saturday suspended all bus, rail and light rail service in the state.
In Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority took the rare step of suspending operations through Sunday.
More than 4,300 US flights were canceled, including virtually all travel into New York City airports, according to the FlightAware.com aviation data and tracking website and transportation officials.
The brunt of the blizzard reached the New York City area after battering Washington, D.C., where snow had piled up outside the White House and across the capital.
"Our message, and we need the public to listen, is to stay home and to stay off the streets. That includes people who are attempting to drive, but it also includes people who are walking," said Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Even so, some residents said they just could not resist seeing famous monuments frosted with snow.
"We haven't made snow angels yet, but we're looking forward to doing that in front of the White House," said Robert Bella Hernandez, 38. "We're just going to walk around, see some snow covered D.C. landmarks. And then when it's unsafe, maybe go back in for a minute."