Millions of Americans had to dig themselves out after the Blizzard of 2016 slammed the mid-Atlantic and parts of the Northeast with several feet of snow rom January 22–24, 2016.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the storm ranks up there with the great blizzards of the past 100 years in terms of amount of snowfall, size of impacted areas and population affected.  The Blizzard of 2016 ranks as the fourth worst winter storm to impact the Northeast, behind the Blizzard of 1993 which still holds first place and the Blizzard of 1996, still holding second place.

The governors of eleven states and the mayor of Washington, D.C. declared a state of emergency in anticipation of significant snowfall and blizzard conditions.  Approximately 103 million people were affected by the storm, with 33 million people under blizzard warnings.

The Eastern Coast saw recording breaking snowfall as Winter Storm Jonas dumped more than 3 feet of snow in places.  Snowstorm Jonas was the single biggest snowstorm on record for at least six locations across the East Coast, including Baltimore, Maryland and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The highest total snowfall recorded was 42 inches—or three-and-a-half feet—in Glengary, West Virginia.

Many cities were disrupted days after the storm ended like Washington, D.C. where schools and government offices remained closed through January 26, three days after the storm.  Schools in Baltimore, Maryland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, also remained closed through January 26.

Air travel remained severely disrupted as at least 12,000 flights had been canceled.  Most regional officials urged the public to stay off the roads until cleanup could be completed.  Crews had cleared many major roadways in the hardest hit areas and travel bans were lifted.  But many side roads remained impassable and icy conditions remained a danger for motorists.  Mass transit systems slowly resumed normal operations by Monday.

In New York City, Central Park recorded its all-time daily snowfall record with 26.6 inches of snow.  Other areas of the city got even more snow: John F. Kennedy Airport received 30.1 inches; Williamsburg in Brooklyn got 29; and at the Bronx Zoo, there was 27.6 inches of snow.

At the height of the storm power was disrupted for hundreds of thousands of residents, but most had electricity again by early Sunday. The biggest remaining outages affected about 25,000 customers in New Jersey — mostly along the Jersey Shore – with smaller outages reported in Pennsylvania and Delaware.  Storm surges saw tides reach near “Sandy-like levels” in New Jersey.  At least 30 deaths along the East Coast have been attributed to the severe weather.

Heavy bands of snow across portions of the mid-Atlantic produced snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour. Snow crews were unable to keep ahead of the storm. This led to some vehicles being trapped on the roads for more than 24 hours.  Hundreds of thousands of people from the Tennessee Valley to the mid-Atlantic were without power at some point during the storm.  Portions of Kentucky received more than 1 foot of snow while over 6 inches of snow fell in Nashville and Little Rock, Arkansas.

 

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