The Latest: Massachusetts braces for snow’s arrival, wind
BOSTON — In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said the state could expect 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 centimeters) inches of heavy wet snow through the duration of the storm and he urged drivers to stay off the road as much as possible starting mid-afternoon Monday.
The storm could also bring with high winds with gusts of up to 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour) along the coast and the possibility of moderate coastal flooding, Baker said.
The state is preparing 3,900 pieces of snow clearing equipment including plows and will work to keep outdoor subway lines clear. Baker said the state invested a lot in recent years in upgrading the third rail on subways lines to guard against trains stalling out.
Baker also said that COVID-19 vaccine providers will contact those with appointments if they are forced to close early. He said individuals with appointments who can’t make it to their vaccine location can also reschedule.
In Vermont, vaccination sites will be open on Tuesday as most of the state is expected to get a half foot to a foot (15 to 30 centimeters) of snow, but anyone concerned about traveling can reschedule their appointments, state officials said Monday.
People aged 75 and older are now eligible to be vaccinated in the state, but Vermonters are urged not to travel if driving conditions are difficult, the Vermont Joint Information Center said in a statement.
A large nor’easter developing off the mid-Atlantic coast is bringing snow and heavy winds to states in the Northeast, moving slowly and dumping snow across the region into Tuesday. The winter weather prompted school districts to cancel in-person learning on Monday, and many COVID-19 vaccination sites were closed and rescheduling appointments. Train, bus and ferry service was suspended in many areas, including New Jersey and New York. As much as 2 feet (61 centimeters) of snow was predicted to fall in areas throughout the day Monday and overnight.
LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Three people died in a shooting in northeastern Pennsylvania stemming from an apparent argument over snow removal, and a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who reportedly wandered away from her home in Allentown, Pennsylvania, was found dead during Monday’s snowstorm, authorities said.
Officials in Luzerne County said gunfire occurred just before 9 a.m. Monday in Plains Township. Neighbors told WHTM-TV that they heard about a dozen shots.
District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said a husband and wife were found shot to death outside in the street, and the body of the suspected shooter was later found inside a nearby residence, with his wound believed to have been self-inflicted. The county coroner pronounced all three dead just before 11:30 a.m. Monday.
Salavantis said the preliminary investigation indicates that there was a long-running dispute among the parties involved, but “this morning, the dispute was exacerbated by a disagreement over snow disposal.”
The shooter “exited his residence and fired upon the couple, killing both husband and wife,” she said.
The names of the three people weren’t immediately released.
In Allentown, Pennsylvania, authorities say a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who reportedly wandered away from her home was found dead during Monday’s snowstorm.
The Lehigh County coroner’s office said 67-year-old Patricia Becker was pronounced dead on a street shortly after 9:30 a.m. Monday. The cause of death was determined to be hypothermia and the death was ruled accidental. The coroner’s office said she had reportedly wandered away from her residence, which is four blocks away on the same street. Police and the coroner’s office are investigating.
Officials from New Jersey, New York and elsewhere urged people to stay off the roads and announced public transit closings as snow from a slow moving winter storm piled up around the Northeast.
New Jersey transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti called conditions on the roads “dangerous,” and Gov. Phil Murphy warned high winds are likely to knock out electricity to people across the state heading into Tuesday.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said a state of emergency is in effect until 6 a.m. Tuesday and urged everyone to stay off the roads.
Regional train service will shut down later today, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said. The last Metro-North trains to and from Grand Central Terminal will leave at 3 p.m. and the last LIRR trains to and from Penn Station will leave between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Above-ground subway service will be shut down as of 2 p.m., NYC Transit head Sarah Feinberg said.
De Blasio said the city may get 16 to 22 inches (40 to 55 centimeters) of snow before the storm is over.
“And that kind of estimate can often be low,” he said at a briefing Monday. “We might even see more. So this is the real thing.”
Hours ahead of the first snowflakes, the city of Nashua, New Hampshire, declared a snow emergency for Monday night, banning on-street parking. The city expected 11 inches (28 centimeters) of snow through Tuesday.
BOSTON — The second phase of Massachusetts’ coronavirus vaccine rollout is being disrupted by a winter storm that’s causing schedule changes and at least one vaccination location to shutdown.
The Reggie Lewis Center in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, which was supposed to open Monday as a mass vaccination site for residents age 75 and over, will not open because of the storm.
Boston’s Public Health Commission tweets that appointments that were scheduled for Monday will automatically be rescheduled for Feb. 8.
Mass vaccination sites at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park are open, but with some changes, according to CIC Health, which is operating both sites.
The Fenway Park site opened an hour early, and people with morning appointments were asked to show up an hour early. People with afternoon appointments were asked show up in the morning.
TRENTON, N.J. — Road crews on Monday were busy around New Jersey as a winter storm packing strong winds dumps heavy snow around much of the state.
Trained spotters reported an inch of snow fell in Cape May County by late Monday morning, and there were 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) in areas of Hunterdon, Morris and Sussex counties, the National Weather Service said.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Sunday declared a state of emergency in order to deploy resources as needed. Murphy also closed all state government offices for nonessential personnel and the state’s six mega sites that distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
All New Jersey Transit trains and buses were suspended, except for the Atlantic City Rail Line. New York Waterway ferries also were suspended. Speed limits were also reduced on many major highways, and numerous spinouts and accidents were being reported.
A winter storm warning remained in effect until Tuesday for much of the state. Forecasters were predicting Sussex, Warren and Morris counties in the north could see additional snow accumulations of 16 to 22 inches (41 to 56 centimeters).
The central part of the state could get an additional 10 to 15 inches (20 to 38 centimeters).
HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said the storm is not impacting the delivery of vaccines to Connecticut. During a morning news conference, he said most vaccinations scheduled for Monday are being postponed, but he’s not concerned that any vaccine will go to waste.
“The vaccines, kept refrigerated, are good for eight to 10 days, so that’s not a problem,” he said. “And if this is three or four weeks since your first vaccination, if it gets put off a few days, don’t worry. It will still stay very effective.”
Lamont noted that while many schools closed on Monday, he expects them to be back in session soon because all of them are now set up for remote learning as a result of the pandemic.
“I’m probably not going to be a hero to the kids,” he said. “This is a snow day. Tomorrow could be a snow day. I’d like to think there is still some virtual learning going on, with a little bit of time for sledding along the way.”
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A winter storm that could drop more than a foot of snow on some areas of Rhode Island is forcing changes to the state’s coronavirus testing and vaccination efforts.
All state-operated COVID-19 testing sites will be closed on Monday, the state Department of Health said.
Also, regional vaccination clinics in Bristol, Providence and East Greenwich will not open as scheduled.
People who had appointments for Monday at any one of these three locations will be contacted directly about rescheduling. Most of the appointments were for first responders and health care providers, with some limited vaccinations for people 75 years of age and older at Bristol and East Greenwich.
Regional vaccination clinics in Smithfield and Narragansett were not scheduled to operate on Monday.
RICHMOND, Va. — Four firefighters in central Virginia were taken to hospitals after a firetruck overturned on snow-covered roads.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the accident occurred early Sunday in Henrico County.
The firetruck was responding to an emergency call. The crash was among more than 360 accidents reported across Virginia during the weekend snowstorm.
Henry Rosenbaum, the county’s assistant fire chief and fire marshal, said the firefighters were able to exit the overturned truck and suffered injuries that were not life threatening.
The firetruck was responding to a call about an unconscious person. No other vehicles were involved.
PITTSBURGH — Road crews were busy across most of Pennsylvania as a winter storm packing strong winds continued to dump heavy snow around much of the state on Monday.
With conditions expected to worsen as the day progressed, Gov. Tom Wolf was urging residents to avoid travel if possible. Most of the state remained under winter storm warnings or winter weather advisories that were expected to remain in effect through Tuesday morning.
About 5 inches (13 centimeters) of snow had fallen in the Pittsburgh area by early Monday, while roughly 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10 centimeters) were reported in northeastern areas. Philadelphia had about 2 inches (5 centimeters) of sleet and snow.
A few more inches were expected to fall across most of the state throughout the day, and strong, gusty winds were also expected in most areas.