Those in path of powerful nor’easter brace for heavy snow, high winds as storm looms
Blizzard Warnings have been expanded Friday and now include nearly 9 million people as of 10 a.m. Eastern
Residents up and down the Northeast coastline are stocking up on necessities with uncertainty as utility companies prepare for a major nor'easter that is forecast to become a blizzard this weekend.
Heavy snow and high winds are expected to pound areas from New England to North Carolina beginning Friday evening. Blizzard Warnings have been expanded Friday and now include nearly 9 million people as of 10 a.m. Eastern.
WHAT MAKES A BLIZZARD DIFFERENT FROM AN ORDINARY SNOWSTORM?
In Massachusetts, the shopping carts are in motion at grocery stores across the state in preparation for the potentially historic storm, Boston 25 News reports. Several shoppers said they believe their buying habits formed during the pandemic have caused some to stock up on more than they actually need.
"I like to be safe rather than sorry, but I don’t like hoarding," Barry Schonwetter said. "I see a lot of people who come in and grab, grab, grab and take everything, and I don’t like that!"
However, some who have waited until the last minute are finding empty shelves.
"They’re stocking up so much where they’re not letting the other people grab the essentials they need because they’re so overwhelmed, and the panic button is on play mode," a shopper named Carlos told Boston 25.
Coastal communities are also bracing for anticipated high winds and flooding.
Jim Slane has been a Plum Island, Massachusetts, resident for 23 years and knows a thing or two about floods in the area.
"They’ve already put their pumps on in their basements if they have them," Slane told Boston 25 about residents in the area.
Newburyport Mayor Sean Reardon said he plans to finalize storm preparations Friday morning ahead of Saturday’s nor’easter.
WE'VE ENTERED THE PEAK TIME OF YEAR FOR MAJOR NORTHEAST WINTER STORMS
"We have already shut off utilities at two homes on the island in preparation for the storm and built up the sand around the stone structure, constructed in October along with the coir bags," Reardon said.
Drivers in multiple states have been asked people to stay at home and give snow plow drivers the time to clear the roads.
Pretreating is underway, not only on the main highway but the secondary roads as well, in the Annapolis, Maryland, area.
Ocean City, Maryland, may get up to a foot of snow FOX 5 reports. City officials there are asking residents not to park on the side streets to keep them clear for the snow-plow work that will need to be done.
Prince George's County Schools are also letting out two hours early Friday.
Utility companies are also prepared for the nor’easter.
Public Service Electric & Gas Co. in New Jersey said they are prepared for the strong winds and heavy snow that may hit the service area and possibly cause severe damage.
Depending on how the storm tracks, forecasts in the area call for 4 to 8 inches and snow accumulations could reach 10 inches in parts of New Jersey. Possible wind gusts of up to 45 mph could break tree limbs, pull down wires and cause outages.
WEEKEND NOR'EASTER PUTTING MILLIONS OF AMERICANS AT RISK OF POWER OUTAGES
"We continue to monitor the weather, our employees are performing system checks and we have personnel on hand prepping for potential outages," said Jack Bridges, vice president of electric operations for PSE&G.
While forecasts vary, some models predict severe damage, Bridges said, he encourages everyone to stay informed and be prepared.
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