Snowed in: How the U.S. East Coast is faring after its first 2020 nor’easter
A nor’easter made its way to the northeast this week, causing multiple feet of snow to fall in many areas on Wednesday & Thursday. According to the National Weather Service, a nor’easter is a storm along the North American East Coast. The storm gets its name from the northeast winds which cause them. They are typically at their worst between September & April. Now we’re in December, and this one’s hitting hard.
A deadly snow storm dropped almost four feet of snow in some places. Some of the affected states included New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
According to ABC News, Hartford, Connecticut got eleven inches. Newark Valley, New York, was hit worse with a whopping forty-four inches. New York City had its biggest snowstorm since 2016 with ten inches. In less than twenty-four hours in Birmingham, New York, there was forty inches, which is half of the city’s yearly snowfall.
Nor’easter car accidents
The storm caused hundreds of car accidents in the northeast states. Unfortunately, there were some fatalities. In New York state alone, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference there were two deaths among 600 accidents. According to the New York Police Department, there was a shutdown of southbound traffic in the city for a few hours Wednesday on a bridge between the Bronx & Manhattan.
In Maryland, the storm caused over 300 crashes. According to Maryland State Police, they received over 200 calls about disabled or abandoned vehicles.
In Pennsylvania, there was a crash with at least thirty vehicles involved. Two people died and there were multiple injuries, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.
⚠️ UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, @NYCschools buildings are closed today, Thursday, December 17, 2020.
All students will learn remotely, and are expected to log on and engage with their work from home as they do on other remote days.
Learn more: https://t.co/bXHXNbF3tO.
— NYC Public Schools (@NYCSchools) December 17, 2020
Nor’easter school closures
This year’s first nor’easter storm also caused many school closures in multiple states, counties, and cities. The New York City Department of Education tweeted schools would be closed Thursday.
“All students will learn remotely, and are expected to log on and engage with their work from home as they do on other remote days,” the tweet said.
Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio banned indoor dining at restaurants. Once the storm hit, outdoor dining was banned as well. On Thursday, he announced on Twitter that restaurants can reopen for outdoor dining in the evening.
Nor’easter’s pandemic effect
The storm caused some temporary closures of COVID-19 testing sites in some areas as well, but luckily it didn’t cause havoc on vaccine shipments.
Before the storm hit, there was concern some shipments of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines wouldn’t make it to some destinations in time. However, Pfizer said in a statement on Thursday that it “successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them.”
There are likely more winter storms on the way in the coming weeks and months, though, and there are millions of additional vaccines waiting to be shipped. The future impact of a nor’easter storm on vaccine shipments remains unknown for now.
Took about 3 hours but got dug out pic.twitter.com/ZvpvLxmm3d
— Adam Gill (@adam_gillwx) December 17, 2020
How people are dealing with nor’easter effects
Many people are snowed in at their homes, with their cars buried in snow.
There is about 2 feet of snow outside, all from last night. Thought it would snow less in Northern Pennsylvania than it does in Northern Maine. Nope. Like I totally love the snow, but now realize I need to buy a plow for my car. pic.twitter.com/1s5ydIItah
— ⚜ 𝕾𝖊𝖗𝖆𝖕𝖍𝖎𝖒 ✝🇺🇸 𝕬𝖑𝖊𝖝𝖆𝖓𝖉𝖊𝖗 ⚜ (@SeraphimMiller) December 17, 2020
Needing a snow plow
People woke up to their roads and yards covered in white.
“Like I totally love the snow, but now realize I need to buy a plow for my car,” one Twitter user said.
THUMPING again in Metuchen, New Jersey! #NJwx @NWS_MountHolly @nynjpaweather pic.twitter.com/QCNMhLHs5S
— Collin Gross (@CollinGrossWx) December 17, 2020
Some tweets had videos of the snow falling. The snow can be seen falling hard and fast in many of the videos. In the background, strong winds can be heard.
There's hope in NYC. I just went to the live streaming earthcam to see how bad it's snowing in Times Square. Watched a bunch of people building a snowman together, on the sidewalk. Still some good in a messed up city. Snowmen unite.
— True-North Compass (@compass_true) December 17, 2020
Hope in the midst of the storm
While nor’easters can cause devastating problems, some people are staying positive. They are taking the opportunity to have fun in the snow, like building snowmen.
“There’s hope in NYC. I just went to the live streaming earthcam to see how bad it’s snowing in Times Square. Watched a bunch of people building a snowman together, on the sidewalk. Still some good in a messed up city. Snowmen unite,” a Twitter user said.