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Storm Orlena: New York City on track for fourth heaviest snowfall since 1869 as mayor issues state of emergency

‘Keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles and let our plows work to keep us safe,’ says mayor Bill de Blasio

James Crump
Monday 01 February 2021 16:26 GMT
White House blanketed in snow as winter weather hits Washington DC
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New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has issued a state of emergency order as the area is on track to record one of its heaviest snowfalls since 1869 over the next 24 hours.

Residents of the city have been urged to stay at home during the storm, as all non-essential travel has been restricted in the area from 6am on Monday until 6am on Tuesday.

The only people allowed to travel on the roads on Monday will be first responders and essential workers, including pharmacy and supermarket employees.

In a statement on Sunday evening, Mr de Blasio said: “New Yorkers should stay home, keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles and let our plows work to keep us safe.”

He added: “Make no mistake: This storm will bring heavy snowfall and it will make travel dangerous in every neighborhood in our city.”

The storm is expected to drop between 18 to 24in of snow in the New York City area from Monday until Tuesday, which would be the fourth heaviest snowfall since records began in 1869.

The heaviest snowfall is expected for Monday morning, with the potential for flakes to drop at the rate of 3in an hour. Wind speeds are also expected to be between 45 to 55mph, according to

In-person learning in the city has been suspended for Monday, with classes moved online, while John F Kennedy International Airport cancelled 75 per cent of flights and La Guardia cancelled around 81 per cent.

Mr de Blasio also announced on Sunday that coronavirus vaccination appointments scheduled for Monday in the city had been postponed, amid the storm.

He said that a decision on Tuesday’s appointments would be made soon, adding: “We don’t want people out trying to get a vaccination and end up being in harm’s way during this weather.”

Monday could be the first time in five years that New York City has seen more than a foot of snow from just one storm, as numerous states and cities could be engulfed in blizzard conditions.

New Jersey also issued a state of emergency on Sunday evening, as more than 100 million people in the US received weather warnings about Orlena. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, also issued a state of emergency for Monday.

New Jersey is expected to see the heaviest snowfall on Monday, and its governor Phil Murphy wrote in a statement on Sunday: “The safety of residents and workers is our utmost priority.

“Please follow all weather-related guidance and stay off roads in order to allow access for emergency personnel.”

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