by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News
Just when they thought winter was almost over, NorthEast coast residents woke up to about a foot or two of snow and blizzard warnings from the US national weather service.
Just days before the spring season begins on March 21, winter storm stella blanketed the northeast with snow.
Some 50 million residents were under winter storm or blizzard warnings — including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York – with forecasts of up to 2 feet of snow by Wednesday morning.
It was a snow day on Tuesday for most students, as classes were canceled in public schools in the tristate area.
Times Square became a winter wonderland for tourists and Big Apple commuters.
“It’s not like a storm. I feel like I’m in the mountains,” said Czech Republic tourist Melanie. “It’s like cross country. It’s really wonderful. And to feel it in New York; it’s really exciting.”
“It was fine. The wintry mix feels like glass shards against my face. That’s not so good… otherwise, it’s okay,” said commuter Joe.
Nearly 8,000 flights have been cancelled due to the storm, affecting travel at major airports such as JFK, La Guardia, and Boston Logan International in Massachusetts.
A state of emergency was in effect in New York.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio cautioned New Yorkers to stay indoors and off the streets.
“Stay off the streets, for your own good, for your own safety, but also to help the sanitation department to keep the streets clear,” said de Blasio. “If you must go out, do so for as limited a time period as possible. If you need to travel, use mass transit if at all possible, but the best thing to do is stay in, if you can stay in.”
In Washington DC, residents are digging up from an unexpected heavy snowfall.
Winter storm Stella’s arrival in DC also forced the postponement of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s first meeting with US President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile in Jersey City, New Jersey, the streets of Little Manila turned into a ghost town.
Filipino stores and restaurants remained closed for the day, while these workers shoveled and cleared the sidewalks of snow…
The absence of kababayans out here on this wintery day means that most people heeded warnings to stay safe indoors and off the streets.