The northeastern US’s first whopper snowstorm of the season has buried parts of upstate New York under more than 90 centimetres of snow, broken records in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and left snow plough drivers struggling to clear the roads.
“It was a very difficult, fast storm and it dropped an unbelievable amount of snow,” Tom Coppola, highway superintendent in charge of maintaining 160km of roads in the Albany suburb of Glenville, said on Thursday.
“It’s to the point where we’re having trouble pushing it with our ploughs.”
The storm dropped 76cm on Glenville between 1am and 6am on Thursday, leaving a a silent scene of snow-clad trees, buried cars and heavily laden roofs when the sun peeked through at noon.
“If you do not have to be on the roads, please don’t travel,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He said there were more than 9000 power outages, 600 accidents and two fatalities by midmorning on Thursday.
Much of the Pennsylvania’s western and central regions saw accumulations in the double digits, with Williamsport Regional Airport reporting 63cm of snow, breaking the previous record of 61cm set there in January 1964.
Boston had more than 23cm of snow early on Thursday morning, breaking the previous record for the date of 16cm in 2013.
The overnight snowfall eclipsed the entire amount recorded for all of last winter in New York City, where 16.5cm of snow covered Central Park – much less than the initial predictions of up to 30cm.