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Historic Nor'easter Impact: Travel, Power, Coast

UPDATED 9:30 AM EST, February 8, 2013

By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, James West

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The major Nor`easter targeting the Northeast and New England later today and Saturday will have a major impact. Simply, all aspects of travel will be affected by this system.

Here is a list of the likely effects:

Power Outages

Blizzard conditions will develop across southern and eastern New England later today and last through Saturday afternoon. Snowfall accumulating at several inches and hour and wind gust that could top 60 mph, will likely knock down trees and power lines. With snowfall accumulations reaching two feet in parts of eastern Massachusetts, it could be days before power is restored, so residents should be prepared with alternative and safe heating sources and ready-to-eat meals.

Roads

Roads will quickly become snow covered this afternoon and evening from northern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and the great New York City area northeastward into Maine. This includes the northern and western suburbs of New York City, Hartford, Conn., Providence, R.I., and Boston. Major highways including Interstates 81, 84, 87, 88, 90, 91, 95 will be impacted.

Winds gusting up to 50 mph will develop later tonight and early Saturday across eastern New England, including Providence R.I., and Boston, reducing visibility down to zero and causing snow to drift. Travel is discouraged later today and Saturday; carry a winter survival kit if you must be on the roads. Here is a look at what should be included in your Winter Survival Kit.

Airports

Airlines have already cancelled thousands of flights in and out of the Northeast with airlines closing all flight operations later this morning and early this afternoon for many Northeast locations. Passengers are being allowed to make travel changes to their tickets with no penalty. Airlines typically cancel flights well in advance to stay ahead of a storm and to avoid having planes, staff and passengers snowed in at airports. If you have flight plans that go through any Northeast airport, including Boston Logan and the three major New York City airports, please check your airline for the latest information on flight cancellations and ticket policy.

Rail and Public Transportation

The combination of high winds and heavy snow will likely shutdown most public transportation across southern and eastern New England, including Boston, later this afternoon and into Saturday. Amtrak is suspending service between New York to Boston on its busy Northeast Corridor starting Friday afternoon, with other routes also seeing cancelled service. It might take several days for rail and transit to get back up to a normal operating schedule because of the amount of snow clean-up and power failures likely throughout the Northeast.

Coastal Flooding

East and north facing coastlines from Long Island northward into eastern Maine will see battering waves and a storm surge up to 3 feet later today and through Saturday afternoon. Coastal flooding is likely, causing beach erosion and damage to coastal roads and property.

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