Coronavirus vaccination sites have been closed and public transport and flights cancelled because of heavy snowstorms in the eastern part of the United States.
More than 16 inches of snow was dropped on Manhattan’s Central Park and as much as 30 inches reported in northern New Jersey.
Parts of northern New England are now waiting to be pummelled by the winter storm.
The National Weather Service said a foot or more could be on the ground in New England by the time the snow finally tapers off in the northernmost states by Wednesday evening.
The storm has already disrupted the second phase of Massachusetts’ vaccine rollout as a Boston site that was supposed to open on Monday for residents aged 75 and older did not. The state was expected to get 12 to 18 inches of heavy, wet snow and winds up to 55mph along the coast, according to governor Charlie Baker.
In Connecticut, governor Ned Lamont said the storm forced the postponement of about 10,000 shots and delayed the state’s weekly resupply of vaccine, which is now expected on Tuesday. He urged providers that called off vaccination appointments to extend their hours if needed to reschedule the jabs by the end of the week.
This storm is going to get worse before it gets better.
If you don’t need to be out – go back to your house.
If you’re in your house – don’t leave.
Let our road crews, power crews, and first responders have the roads to themselves.
Stay home. Stay safe. pic.twitter.com/mR7kwmGYkT
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 1, 2021
A state of emergency imposed by New Jersey governor Phil Murphy remained in effect on Tuesday and the state’s six mega sites for Covid-19 vaccines were still closed as plough operators faced snow showers and blowing snow.
The New Jersey State Police reported as of 7pm on Monday, troopers had responded to 661 crashes and come to the aid of 1,050 motorists since 6pm on Sunday.
There was also concern about coastal flooding due to the storm. In a video posted on Facebook by Union Beach Police, officers were shown rescuing a man who was showing signs of hypothermia in his car from floodwaters.
In Virginia, four firefighters were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening after their fire engine overturned on Sunday on snow-covered roads in Henrico County, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
In Pennsylvania, authorities said a 67-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s who reportedly wandered away from her home was found dead of hypothermia on an Allentown street on Monday morning. About 60 miles north in Plains Township, a shooting after an argument over snow removal killed a married couple, and the suspect was later found dead at his nearby home of a wound believed to have been self-inflicted, officials in Luzerne County said.
A preliminary investigation indicates the people involved had a long-running conflict, but “this morning, the dispute was exacerbated by a disagreement over snow disposal,” District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said.