Blizzard Shuts Down New York

Blizzard Shuts Down New YorkBlizzard Shuts Down New York

A major storm forced New York to impose driving bans and halt public transport late Monday, as snowfall pounded the northeastern United States affecting tens of millions of people.

The heavy blizzard called by ‘Winter Storm Juno’ is expected to dump up to a meter of snow in New York, but with New England worst affected, New York Times reported.

More than 7,100 flights were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday. New York shut its transit system at 11p.m. local time, made non-emergency road travel a criminal offense in 13 counties and closed tunnels and bridges connecting Manhattan to New Jersey.

States of emergency were declared in states across the affected region as residents rushed to supermarkets to stockpile food.

“It could be a matter of life and death, and that’s not being overly dramatic, so caution is required,” New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo warned.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also responded to claims that officials overreacted to the threat posed by the blizzard.

“This is a better-safe-than-sorry scenario,” he said. “We did what was necessary to keep everyone safe.”

New York’s famed Broadway and top music venues -- including Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera -- shelved performances. NBA games were also postponed.

The decision to shut down the subways entirely due to snow was the first in the system’s more than 110-year history. But in recent years, the full removal of service — once unheard-of in any weather — has become a semi-annual ritual, occurring during both Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy, as the latter killed more than 200 people and caused months-long power cuts.

Transit officials say the maneuvers can limit damage to the system, while better positioning workers to restart the subways once conditions improve.