- A snow emergency has been declared in Boston.
- Maryland activated National Guard troops.
- Airlines are waiving change fees at dozens of airports.
- Coastal residents of a Massachusetts town have been told to consider leaving.
Crews spent Friday preparing routes as airport cancellations piled up and, for the third time in less than two weeks, a state of emergency was declared in Virginia.
Several other states have also issued emergency proclamations.
That’s because of a northeast that targets parts of the mid-Atlantic and northeast. The Weather Channel named the system Winter Storm Kenan.
(FOLLOWING: Nor’easter Maps, Winter Storm Kenan Tracker: Radar, Snow Forecast, Timing)
Here’s a look at the preparations as the East Coast braced for the storm.
Maryland mobilizes National Guard
About 125 National Guard members are positioned at armories in southern Maryland and the east coast, according to a news release.
Governor Larry Hogan has declared states of emergency for Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
“We urge Marylanders to take this winter storm seriously, especially East Coast residents…Stay off the roads tonight for your own safety and so crews and first responders can do their jobs,” Hogan said in a statement Friday afternoon. “We will continue to monitor this winter storm closely and provide updates as it progresses.”
States of emergency declared in New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island
Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency beginning at 5 p.m. Friday for the entire state.
State employees were sent home at 3 p.m.
“We’re certainly hoping for the best but we’re definitely preparing for the worst,” Murphy said at a Friday afternoon news conference.
Emergencies have also been declared in New York and Rhode Island.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey issue vehicle travel restrictions
Travel restrictions went into effect for certain types of vehicles at 5 p.m. on several major freeways, including portions of Interstates 78 and 80 in eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey, as well as sections of several other New Jersey highways.
Restrictions were expected to extend to parts of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 476 later that evening.
Boston declares snow emergency
“This has the potential to be a historic storm,” Mayor Michelle Wu said at a news conference Friday morning. An enormous.
A snow emergency comes into effect in the city at 9 p.m. At that time, parking will be prohibited on the main streets of the city.
The metro area could see up to 2 feet of snow, according to weather.com meteorologists. Strong winds are also possible.
“It will likely be an intense and dangerous storm with heavy snowfall and whiteout conditions,” Wu said.
“The safest place is in your house or in your apartment.”
Travel delays are piling up
The storm is putting a damper on travel, with more than 700 flights canceled Saturday at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and more than 600 at Boston Logan, according to airline tracking website FlightAware.
Airlines such as Delta, Southwest and American are waiving change fees at dozens of airports from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Bangor, Maine. In addition to airports in the Boston and New York area, the main hubs affected are Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Code Blue declared in New Jersey
Several counties have activated cold weather protocols, meaning shelters and warming centers will be available.
The state provides a full list here, and people in need can also call 211 for help.
State of emergency declared in Virginia
Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared an emergency Thursday ahead of the storm, clearing the way for the state to deploy people and equipment as needed.
The state Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Department of Transportation and other relevant agencies are already preparing for the storm, according to a news release.
“The key message for all Virginians is to stay aware of weather conditions and stay off the roads if possible,” Youngkin said. “We have already begun planning and mobilizing the resources needed to protect the Commonwealth. We are very concerned about the anticipated impacts to our East Coast region and have begun to pre-position resources to ensure a rapid response in this region. The most important thing anyone can do to minimize risk is to prepare yourself and your family.
This is the third such statement since January 14.
Coastal residents of a Massachusetts town are urged to leave
Those living along the Scituate Coast, known for coastal flooding, have been told they may want to ride out the storm elsewhere.
“Coastal residents should also consider moving to a hotel or friend’s house for this storm,” said a message from the city’s emergency management agency. “If you evacuate, please do so Friday evening, or no later than 6 a.m. Saturday, two hours before high tide.”
The city has also provided a list of hotels in the area.
Coastal flooding is expected in several areas along the storm’s path, particularly during high tides on Saturday morning and evening.
Widespread power outages are expected
Crews from other states have flocked to help as the storm is expected to bring down trees and power lines.
Remember that generators can be deadly if misused. Follow safety rules when using one and never operate a generator indoors or next to an enclosed space.
What is the forecast?
Winter Storm Kenan is expected to hit parts of the East Coast with heavy snowfall and high winds, including blizzard conditions that will cripple travel in some areas.
Blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect for many cities along the East Coast.
Travel should be completely avoided in all blizzard and winter storm warning areas Friday evening through Saturday.
Click here to read our full forecast.
How winter storms are named
The 2021-22 season is the 10th season The Weather Channel has named winter storms.
The names are used in alphabetical order to identify winter storms that meet objective naming criteria based on National Weather Service winter storm warnings, blizzard warnings, and ice storm warnings.
There were 24 named storms last winter, from Abigail to Xylia. Kenan is the 11th this season.
Click here to learn more about how winter storms are named.
The primary journalistic mission of The Weather Company is to report on the latest weather news, the environment and the importance of science in our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.