Washington: A life-threatening blizzard which is expected to pound a record 30 inches of snow has hit most part of the US’ east coast including Capital Washington DC, leaving more than 120,000 homes without electricity and paralysing lives of millions of people in the region.
The States most effected by the blizzard are North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia, Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York, in addition to Washington DC.
As per the latest count, more than 120,000 homes were left without electricity as the monstrous snow storm with gusty winds started pounding several inches of snow across the region on Friday.
A State of emergency has been declared in about half a dozen States along the region and the national capital of Washington DC as the blizzard is expected to pound a record 30 inches of snow over the weekend.
“We have a forecast that we did not had in 90 years. It has life-and-death implication, and all the residents of the District of Columbia should treat it that way,” Washington DC Mayor Miriel E Bowser said, adding the District National Guard has been deployed for duty.
“The combination of heavy snowfall and strong winds will produce whiteout conditions and extremely dangerous travel,” the National Weather Service said.
According to the National Weather Service, the blizzard is expected to last about 36 hours and leave more than two feet of snow in some places.
In a tweet, the service said “the real teeth” of the storm would be felt midnight through Saturday afternoon.
“Heavy snow, increasing winds, lightning threat,” it said.
In Virginia, local media reported a large number of accidents took place Friday evening. Virginia State Police responded to more than 800 traffic accidents.
With temperatures below the freezing temperature, people stayed indoors and found safe shelter to stay warm.
Local governments across the region have deployed hundreds of plows and salt trucks to clear out snow on major roads and highways.
Unlike a normal Friday night festivities, most of the downtowns, malls and restaurants wore a deserted look and there was hardly any traffic on the road.
Several thousand flights have been cancelled and public transportation system have been shut down as a precautionary measure.
One weather-related fatality was reported in Chesapeake on Friday afternoon, police said. In a statement, North American Telugu Association urged community members to stay indoors and take all precautions for safety. Virginia has a large number of Telugu population.
A number of temples and other places of worships including gurdwars in the entire region have opened up its door for shelter less people.