PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A massive winter storm is making its way up the East Coast. Our area will avoid the brunt of the storm, but it will have an effect on travel.

The National Weather Service has downgraded the storm from a blizzard to a winter storm for New York City. However, a blizzard warning remains in effect for Long Island and much of New England.

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Locally, the Pennsylvania Turnpike issued a travel advisory Monday night.

According to Turnpike Officials, all roads into New Jersey, Connecticut and the New York Metro area closed at 11 p.m. Monday.

The New Jersey Turnpike is also closed. As a result, motorists traveling east are being asked to exit before the Delaware River Bridge Toll Plaza (exit 359).

As of Monday night, Pittsburgh International Airport reported more than 30 flights were cancelled that were either headed to or coming from East Coast destinations.

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“We do have flights going out, it’s just the airlines have been proactive in cancelling flights to these major cities that are affected on the East Coast,” Alyson Walls said. “Usually, there is a residual effect when you have a storm of this nature that hits those major airports. As the airlines try to catch up and rebook people, sometimes there are delays that spill over. Again, the best advice if you are traveling, just check with your airline, check online.”

If you’re traveling east, check the Pennsylvania’s Turnpike’s website for updates on restrictions and road closures

The American Red Cross chapter in Pittsburgh says it’s ready to send volunteers to Eastern Pennsylvania if help is needed.

“Right now, they are staffing the emergency operations center in Harrisburg for the state, and we have people who are on call right now for that. The other needs they might have would be sheltering,” said Patricia Waldinger from the Red Cross.

She says volunteers from here could help if people on the other end of the state are forced out their homes and need to stay in a temporary shelter, such as a high school gym or community center.

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Heather Abraham