PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A blizzard of historic proportions is taking aim at the northeast. While people there hunker down, what impact will we feel here?
From Ocean City, Md., to Boston, Mass., the massive storm is already pounding the eastern seaboard with rain to freezing rain to snow, and the more frigid elements of the storm are coming into play further north.
At Boston’s Logan Field, the plow trains are working in whiteout condition as the snow piles up.
Massachusetts’ Gov. Deval Patrick has already taken the unusual step of banning all cars from the roads in the state. Also, states of emergency are in effect in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Further to the north, the fast-falling snow in Maine caused an interstate pileup.
While much of the heavy snow further south is not expected until Friday night, travel is already dramatically impacted.
“They have canceled 3,000 flights so far and soon they will be repositing aircrafts out of the storm’s path, and usually we get 10 to 30 of those aircrafts,” Brad Penrod, of Pittsburgh International Airport, said.
Those planes will be kept here, out of the snow, ready to get back on schedule once the storm passes.
As for Pittsburgh passengers, the departure and arrival boards show a number of East Coast cancellations. Any diverted flights that come here would probably be those coming from overseas, which can’t land on the East Coast.
“We have a good count of available beds in the airport for the airlines to touch base with,” said Penrod.
Both Duquesne Light and West Penn Power have already sent crews east to help out in eastern Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey once the storm passes.
Also, as they did after Hurricane Sandy, state troopers from our area could also be sent east if the situation warrants.
Meanwhile, after their game Thursday night against the Washington Capitals, the Penguins flew out first thing this morning for New Jersey where they will begin a home-and-home with the Devils Saturday.
The team arrived in a rain storm and fully expects to play Saturday, not knowing if the teams will run into complications trying to get back to Pittsburgh for Sunday night’s game.
Crews from PennDOT could also be called into play from our area to help in the central and eastern part of the state, but right now, PennDOT is waiting to see the storm’s impact before putting those contingencies in action.