There are widespread power outages in the U.S. due to a snowstorm. Hundreds of flights were canceled and a driving ban was imposed in one state.
Snow is falling in the US. Photo: dpa
Power outages, deserted roads and snow as far as the eye can see: winter storm "Nemo" has paralyzed large parts of the US East Coast. According to media reports, more than 600,000 homes and businesses have been affected by power outages, and more than 5,000 flights and all train services have been canceled. Highways and downtowns were deserted. The snow already accumulated to over 60 centimeters in some regions. According to the U.S. Weather Service, up to a whole meter of snow could fall in the metropolis of Boston – more than ever before. Nemo" has also claimed at least one life.
A state of emergency has been declared for five Northeast states: Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island. 5,000 National Guardsmen were alerted, and some coastal towns were to be evacuated. A driving ban was imposed for the entire state of Massachusetts. Anyone who nevertheless gets into a car faces a fine of up to 500 dollars (about 375 euros) – or even a year in prison.
Governor Deval Patrick had declared the ban. The only exceptions are for rescue workers, certain state employees, utility workers and journalists. One reason for the dramatic step, he said, was the memory of the great blizzard of 1978 in the New England states, when numerous motorists got their cars stuck in the snow for a long time on the highways.
"Nemo" has already claimed at least one life. An 18-year-old female driver lost control of her car on a snow-covered road in Poughkeepsie (New York state) and hit a pedestrian, TV network CNN reported Saturday night. The 74-year-old man was taken to hospital after the accident and died there, it said.
More than 5,000 flights and all train services had already been canceled in the region in advance. More than 60 airports were affected, reported the website "Flight Aware". Flights from Germany to the East Coast, for example from Frankfurt/Main, were also canceled. Many schools remained closed. Long lines formed at gas stations and supermarkets. It also snowed heavily in the metropolis of New York. Clearing vehicles were in constant use. However, the fashion week currently underway was able to continue without any major changes.