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.
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.
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.