Parts of northern New England were waiting their turn to be pummeled by a heavy winter storm Tuesday, while residents of the New York City region were digging out from under piles of snow that shut down public transport, canceled flights and closed coronavirus vaccination sites.
The National Weather Service said a foot or more could be on the ground in New England by the time the snow finally tapers off in the northernmost states by Wednesday evening.
Lara Pagano, a meteorologist with the weather service office in College Park, Maryland, noted that while several areas in the Mid-Atlantic have seen measurable snowfall for a few consecutive days, that hasn't shattered such records. For example, she said the most consecutive days with measured snowfall for Washington is four, while the mark is five for New York City and six for Philadelphia.
"While this storm has been a prolonged event, it's not a record-setter in that sense, but it does rank up there pretty high of course," she said.
The sprawling, lumbering storm already walloped the eastern United States on Monday, as the as snow piled up. More than 16 inches of snow dropped on Manhattan's Central Park, and as much as 30 inches was reported in northern New Jersey.
High tide caused flooding early Tuesday in coastal areas of Massachusetts, where the storm had already disrupted the second phase of the state's vaccine rollout as a Boston site that was supposed to open Monday for residents ages 75 and older did not; some other mass vaccination sites remained open.
Snow totals in the state varied wildly depending on location — Cape Cod and the Islands saw no snow, while parts of the North Shore got almost two feet.
In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said the storm forced the postponement of about 10,000 shots and delayed the state's weekly resupply of vaccine, now expected Tuesday. He urged providers that called off vaccination appointments to extend their hours if needed to reschedule the shots by the end of the week.
A state of emergency imposed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy remained in effect Tuesday and the state's six mega sites for COVID-19 vaccines were still closed as plow operators faced snow showers and blowing snow. The New Jersey State Police reported as of 7 p.m. Monday, troopers had responded to 661 crashes and come to the aid of 1,050 motorists since 6 p.m. Sunday.
There was also concern about coastal flooding in New Jersey due to the storm. In a video posted on Facebook by Union Beach Police, Keyport Police Chief Shannon Torres and Capt. Michael Ferm were shown rescuing a man who was showing signs of hypothermia in his car from floodwaters.