More than 10,000 flights scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday had been canceled by Saturday evening, according to FlightAware.com, which tracks cancellations and delays.
The three New York area airports — LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty — saw essentially all flights halted Saturday. At major airports stretching from Philadelphia to Charlotte, hundreds of inbound and outbound flights were grounded Saturday and more issues were still to come. The two airports closest to Washington — Reagan National and Dulles International — said they were unlikely to reopen their runways on Sunday.
Authorities in cities and states along the East Coast pleaded with people to stay off the roads and warned of worsening conditions Saturday, announcing travel bans and shutting down transit services. States of emergency have been also been declared from the Carolinas and Georgia to New York.
The National Weather Service released updated forecasts late Saturday morning predicting up to 30 inches of snow in parts of New York and New Jersey. By Saturday morning, six inches of snow had fallen in Central Park, while double that amount was reported in parts of Nassau County on Long Island, the Weather Service said. Parts of New Jersey also had up to 12 inches of snow.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) declared a state of emergency Saturday and announced a travel ban that went into effect at 2:30 p.m. for the downstate part of New York, including New York City.
Travel ban is now in effect on all local & state roads in NYC and state roads on Long Island, and Port Authority’s trans-Hudson crossings.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 23, 2016
In addition to the travel ban, Cuomo said authorities were stopping above-ground subway service in New York City at 4 p.m., along with trains on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, while the city’s buses stopped running at noon.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) banned any non-emergency travel in the city at 2:30 p.m., while the city’s police department said that anyone violating the ban would be arrested.
— Sally Jenkins (@sallyjenx) January 23, 2016
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who returned to the state from the presidential campaign trail Friday, declared a state of emergency in response to the storm.
“I think today and tonight, folks should expect that this is as an inside day for them,” he told NBC News on Saturday.
About 90,000 people had lost power in New Jersey by Saturday afternoon, Christie’s office said. There was no travel ban in New Jersey, but emergency officials asked drivers to stay home unless necessary. Christie’s office also announced a 35 mph speed limit on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway for people who did have to head out.
New Jersey Transit had shut down all trains, buses and light rail service Saturday due to the storm.
Transit was also severely limited in the Philadelphia area. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which operates trains and buses around Philadelphia, halted almost all service Saturday due to the storm.
In Delaware, Gov. Jack Markell (D) on Saturday said he was banning most drivers in two of the state’s three counties, a restriction his office said would remain in place indefinitely.
This post has been updated.