Massive storm paralyzes East Coast, thousands stranded in vehicles

By  | 

Forty inches of snow has fallen in Glengary, West Virginia while areas near Washington, D.C. received more than 30 inches of snow as of Saturday afternoon from the massive blizzard hitting the East Coast.

The snow is expected to keep falling until late Saturday or early Sunday morning. High winds are causing whiteout conditions and contributed to tens of thousands of people losing power. At least 18 deaths have been attributed to the storm.

More than 8,000 flights have been canceled with airports closed. The bulk of Saturday's nearly 4,300 cancellations were at airports in the New York City and Washington areas. Another 1,200 flights were canceled for Sunday. Those cancellations center on Philadelphia, Washington and New York City. Airlines have essentially shut down all flights into those cities.

The airlines hope to be back to a full schedule by Sunday afternoon to handle the typical influx of business travelers heading out to start the work week.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says more than 500 vehicles are stuck in a miles-long backup in western Pennsylvania, including hundreds of Nebraska students in buses on their way home from Friday's March for Life in Washington, D.C. Omaha Skutt student Matthew Pohlman was among those stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. "There are loads of buses backed up and the snow is reportedly 30 inches high. I believe it."

Emergency crews have been delivering supplies and officials are working to move people to shelters if needed. Gov. Wolf told reporters that each vehicle had been checked at least once and workers were delivering food as well as fuel to make sure engines keep running so the heat can stay on.

Buses carrying the Duquesne University men's basketball team and the Temple University women's gymnastics squad were among those stuck on the turnpike.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a travel ban in New York City where more than 25 inches of snow fell. All non-emergency vehicles had to be off the roads by 2:30 p.m. The Metro-North, the Long Island Rail Road and above-ground subway lines shut down a short time later. City buses stopped running at noon. All Broadway shows were canceled.