Sprawling winter storm begins blasting Northeast
A destructive winter storm that's unleashed blizzard conditions and freezing rain on much of the country while spawning deadly tornadoes in the U.S. South began impacting the Northeast on Thursday night.
The big picture: More than 40 million people across the U.S. were under winter storm warnings or advisories Thursday, as the severe storm caused widespread power outages and travel chaos across several states.
By the numbers: An estimated 32,500-plus customers were without power in Minnesota, along with nearly 30,000 others in Wisconsin early Friday as the storm dumped heavy snow across the states, causing school closures.
- Outages were also reported in Pennsylvania (over 17,700 customers), West Virginia (more than 16,300) and Virginia (almost 10,000), according to poweroutage.us.
Meanwhile, NOAA preliminary snowfall data shows that from 8am Tuesday through 9pm Thursday ET, 29 inches fell in Finland, Minnesota; Chadron, Nebraska, saw 24 inches and both Herdsfield and Lisbon in North Dakota recorded 15.5 inches.
State of play: "Significant travel hazards persist across parts of the Upper Midwest due to snow and blowing snow," per a National Weather Service update early Friday.
- "Heavy snow will move across the Northeast, with lake effect snow downwind of the Great Lakes continuing through the weekend. Mixed precipitation continues in the Central Appalachians."
What they're saying: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in a statement Thursday urged everyone in impacted regions to "avoid unnecessary travel" with some parts of the state forecast to see over a foot of snowfall from Thursday through Saturday. Up to two inches per hour could fall in some places, she noted.
- "Work from home if possible, stay off the roads, and make sure you and your loved ones remain vigilant," Hochul said.
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Editor's note: This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.