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NY braces for huge storm

Boston, Feb. 8 (AP): Snow began to fall as a massive blizzard headed for the American northeast today, sending residents scurrying to stock up on food and supplies ahead of a storm poised to dump nearly a metre of snow from New York City to Boston and beyond.

Even before the first snowflake had fallen, airlines scratched more than 3,700 flights till Saturday. Boston and other towns and cities in New England and upstate New York cancelled school.

“This one doesn’t come along every day. This is going to be a dangerous winter storm,” said Alan Dunham, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts. “Wherever you need to get to, get there by this afternoon and don’t plan on leaving.”

The heaviest snowfall was expected tonight and into tomorrow. Wind gusts could reach 121kmph. Widespread power failures were feared, along with flooding in coastal areas still recovering from Sandy in October.

Boston could get nearly a metre of snow, while New York City was expecting up to 30cm. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said plows and 250,000 tons of salt were being put on standby.

Amtrak rail said its Northeast trains will stop running this afternoon. The organisers of New York’s Fashion Week — a closely watched series of fashion shows held under a big tent — said they will have extra crews to help with snow removal. At New York City’s three main airports, most domestic carriers planned to cease operations between 2pm and 5pm today, resuming after noon tomorrow.

 
 
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