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Storm Gail sees more snow fall in NYC in one day than the WHOLE of last winter

More snow fell in one day in New York City Wednesday than the whole of last winter as Storm Gail barreled into the United States, blanketing areas and causing more than a thousand crashes on roadways along the Eastern states.

At least six people have been killed in snow-related incidents caused by the powerful nor’easter which began blanketing areas from northern Virginia to New York City to southern Maine Wednesday night.

More than 500 crashes were reported across New York state through the night, including a 27-car pile up in New York City that left six injured, as other parts of the state were smothered in more than 40 inches of snow. 

In Pittsburgh, two lucky EMS workers managed to escape unscathed when a truck lost control and plowed head-on into their vehicle when they were responding to a separate crash.

Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, two people were killed in a 30 to 60 car pile-up in Clinton County and many more were taken to hospital with injuries. 

A one-vehicle crash in Snyder County left the driver dead after they lost control of the car due to the treacherous conditions. 

Another person died in one of more than 200 collisions in Virginia and more than 350 crashes were reported in Maryland by the early hours of Thursday morning, as authorities begged residents to stay home. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced two snow-related deaths in the Empire state.

Meanwhile, a Spirit Airlines airplane skidded off the taxiway and onto the grass Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Flight 696 from Las Vegas had arrived safely at the airport, at about 6:18am, but skidded off the taxiway while turning a corner as it made its way to the terminal. None of the 111 passengers on board were injured, abc7 reported.

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: Only midway through the winter storm, Kennebunkport is seen already covered in snow

BROOKYLN, NEW YORK CITY: An NYPD cruiser is covered in snow and the road is yet to be cleared

BROOKYLN, NEW YORK CITY: An NYPD cruiser is covered in snow and the road is yet to be cleared

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: A Spirit Airlines airplane skidded off the taxiway and onto the grass Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: A Spirit Airlines airplane skidded off the taxiway and onto the grass Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: A pedestrian moves out of the way of a plow on a narrow street during Winter Storm Gail in the Dorchester neighborhood

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: A pedestrian moves out of the way of a plow on a narrow street during Winter Storm Gail in the Dorchester neighborhood

SHENANDOAH VALLEY, VIRGINIA: A truck veers off the road in Virginia where more than 200 crashes have occurred

SHENANDOAH VALLEY, VIRGINIA: A truck veers off the road in Virginia where more than 200 crashes have occurred

LATHAM, NEW YORK: New York State Police Troopers are out on the roads Thursday morning assisting motorists

LATHAM, NEW YORK: New York State Police Troopers are out on the roads Thursday morning assisting motorists

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: The driver and ambulance crews looked on in terror as the car hurtled toward them and was unable to stop, causing them to leap out of its path

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: The car struck the EMS vehicle but luckily everyone involved escaped unscathed

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA: Driver and ambulance crews look on in terror as a car hurtled toward them and was unable to stop before smashing into the EMS vehicle

Storm Gail sees more snow fall in NYC in one day than the WHOLE of last winter

In Central Park, Manhattan, 6.5 inches of snow and sleet had fallen by midnight Wednesday, the National Weather Service New York reported Thursday morning.

This is more snow in the first day of the season than the city saw throughout the entire winter season last year, when just 4.8 inches fell. 

By 8 a.m., as New Yorkers were waking up to one of the biggest snowfalls in years, this record had been smashed further with Central Park under 10 inches of snow.  

This is still a long way from its record snowfall seen in 2016 when a single storm dumped 27.5 inches on Central Park and more than a foot of snow across the city. 

A National Weather Service spokesperson said the storm had set a new two-day snowfall record for the state by mid-morning, passing the previous record of 35.3 inches back in March 2017. 

Across New York state, troopers responded to more than 600 storm-related crashes by Thursday morning and residents were urged to avoid travel and keep roads clear for plows to work. 

Two people have been killed in New York as a result of the nor’easter, Cuomo revealed Thursday morning.  

No further details about their identities or cause of death was given.  

A satellite image shows Storm Gail over the East Coast of America as of 12 p.m. EST Thursday

A satellite image shows Storm Gail over the East Coast of America as of 12 p.m. EST Thursday

Storm Gail sees more snow fall in NYC in one day than the WHOLE of last winter

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: The Naked Cowboy rocked up to Times Square in his signature cowboy boots, hat and white briefs to sing and play guitar despite the bitter temperatures

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: The Naked Cowboy rocked up to Times Square in his signature cowboy boots, hat and white briefs to sing and play guitar despite the bitter temperatures

NEW RIVER VALLEY, VIRGINIA: One person died in one of more than 200 collisions in Virginia

NEW RIVER VALLEY, VIRGINIA: One person died in one of more than 200 collisions in Virginia

CORNING, NEW YORK: State troopers help a vehicle which has plowed off the road due to the treacherous conditions

CORNING, NEW YORK: State troopers help a vehicle which has plowed off the road due to the treacherous conditions 

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Snow covers the Charging Bull sculpture in the Financial District of Manhattan

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Snow covers the Charging Bull sculpture in the Financial District of Manhattan

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: A woman helps her friend stand up after slipping in the deep snow on the sidewalk

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: A woman helps her friend stand up after slipping in the deep snow on the sidewalk

BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT: People wade through the thick snow in Vermont. The state has seen snowfall of up to 30.5 inches

BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT: People wade through the thick snow in Vermont. The state has seen snowfall of up to 30.5 inches

GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT: Residents dig out the snow from the area after Storm Gail struck overnight

GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT: Residents dig out the snow from the area after Storm Gail struck overnight

Highest rates of snowfall by state: 

New York  

Newark Valley – 44 inches 

Pennsylvania

Litchfield – 40 inches

Vermont 

Ludlow – 30.5 inches 

Connecticut 

Torrington – 14 inches

Pennsylvania

Williamsport –  24.7 inches

Maine

Wells – 8 inches  

Delaware

Talleyville – 5.7 inches  

Maryland

Sabillasville – 12.1 inches 

Massachusetts

Rowe – 14.5 inches 

New Hampshire

Plainfield – 23 inches in Plainfield

New Jersey

Harrison – 8.5 inches  

Virginia

Basye – 11.5 inches

 *as of late Thursday morning

One person on a snowmobile was killed when they collided with a tractor-trailer on I-787 in downtown Albany early Monday. It is not clear if they are one of the two announced by Cuomo Thursday. 

A 27-car pile-up took place near West 181 Street in Upper Manhattan at about 6:10 p.m. Wednesday night, just a few hours after the first snowfall was felt across the city.

The crash left four people in a serious – but non life-threatening – condition while two others suffered minor injuries and the southbound lanes of the Henry Hudson Parkway connecting Manhattan and the Bronx were shuttered as emergency services responded to the scene. 

Motorists were stranded along I-81 south between exits 7 and 8 in the town of Barker Thursday morning, New York State Police said.

Troopers were dispatched to the area on snowmobiles to help get vehicles off the roads.  

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers to stay home Thursday morning after parts of the state were hammered by over 40 inches of snow, 9,100 power outages and more than 600 car crashes. 

More than 3,700 of outages were in homes in Long Island. 

Newark Valley had been hardest hit by the snow as of 9 a.m. with 44 inches of snow, followed by Binghamton and Vestal where 41 inches was reported and Broome County where 3 feet of snowfall was reported. 

The state capital recorded 17.5 inches near the Albany Airport at 7 a.m., already smashing its record for December 17 set in 1970 with 11.1 inches, the National Weather Service said. 

By around 11 a.m., parts of Binghamton were under more than 2.5 feet of snow, said Cuomo. 

Mayor David Rich put the city hunder a state of emergency Thursday, and urged people to stay off the roads.

Cuomo declared a state of emergency in 18 counties of New York state including Capital Region, Southern Tier and Hudson Valley Thursday morning as he held a storm briefing from Kingston. 

‘Newsflash it snowed a lot in New York state,’ he said.  

‘It is not safe and you shouldn’t be out there if you don’t have to be out there,’ he said, adding that staying away will help plow crews clear the way.

‘The storm leaves this afternoon. We’ll clean it up and move on.’   

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Drivers remove snow from their vehicles which are buried deep in the snow

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Drivers remove snow from their vehicles which are buried deep in the snow

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A woman crosses the street after snowfall during the nor'easter storm Thursday

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A woman crosses the street after snowfall during the nor’easter storm Thursday 

GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT: Children enjoy a snow day, sledging down the hills at Bruce Park Thursday

GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT: Children enjoy a snow day, sledging down the hills at Bruce Park Thursday

STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT: Blowing winds, snowdrifts and single digit temperatures hit the Eastern states

STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT: Blowing winds, snowdrifts and single digit temperatures hit the Eastern states 

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: Deep snow covers the walkway in front of the chocolate store along the high street

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: Deep snow covers the walkway in front of the chocolate store along the high street

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: A storm center vehicle is parked up about stores in the coastal town after Gail struck

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: A storm center vehicle is parked up about stores in the coastal town after Gail struck

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Snow blankets Astor Place in Manhattan as Storm Gail blankets the East Coast

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Snow blankets Astor Place in Manhattan as Storm Gail blankets the East Coast

Storm Gail sees more snow fall in NYC in one day than the WHOLE of last winter

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a briefing soon after where he warned that ‘it’s been years since we’ve had this kind of challenge’. 

Parts of the Bronx were under almost 11 inches of snow while the rest of the city was grappling with about 5-6 inches as of midday, with the Big Apple facing the most snow since January 2016, he said.  

But, he added that the snowfall hadn’t been as bad as predicted, with fewer power outages or downed trees than originally feared.

And the snow is expected to leave early afternoon, meaning the city’s schools and outdoor dining can resume, he said.   

Schools shuttered in-person learning Thursday but will reopen Friday and restaurants and bars can reopen roadside dining in Manhattan as soon as Thursday night.

De Blasio said he will provide an update later in the day for the reopening of outdoor dining in other boroughs.  

He reiterated Cuomo’s please for New Yorkers to stay off the streets until workers clear the snow.   

The extreme weather wasn’t enough to deter COVID-weary New Yorkers Wednesday night who parked up on sidewalks and in restaurant gardens to enjoy the last semblance of dining out currently on offer in the Big Apple. 

It also didn’t put off New York City’s famous Naked Cowboy who rocked up to Times Square in his signature cowboy boots, hat and white briefs to sing and play guitar despite the bitter temperatures.  

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: The weather didn't put off New York City's famous Naked Cowboy

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: The weather didn’t put off New York City’s famous Naked Cowboy

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Robert Burck, better known as the 'Naked Cowboy', performs as snow falls in the city

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Robert Burck, better known as the ‘Naked Cowboy’, performs as snow falls in the city

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: People make their way through snow in the East Village Manhattan Thursday

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: People make their way through snow in the East Village Manhattan Thursday

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A dog enjoys a walk in the snow in Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A dog enjoys a walk in the snow in Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: A winter storm warning is in effect for York County and most of Cumberland County through late Thursday afternoon, where most of the snow is expected to fall

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: A winter storm warning is in effect for York County and most of Cumberland County through late Thursday afternoon, where most of the snow is expected to fall

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: Total snow accumulations are expected to reach 6 to 12 inches in southernmost Maine

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: Total snow accumulations are expected to reach 6 to 12 inches in southernmost Maine

Storm Gail sees more snow fall in NYC in one day than the WHOLE of last winter

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A man sets to work shoveling snow out of the front of his restaurant Thursday

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A man sets to work shoveling snow out of the front of his restaurant Thursday

On Monday, the New York City Department of Sanitation issued a Snow Alert ordering bars and restaurants to clear roadway dining setups from 2 p.m. Wednesday to make way for snow-clearing operations – just days after the state ordered indoor dining shut. 

Defiant restaurant owners with sidewalk dining or private gardens braved the blizzards, with New Yorkers seen huddled in the snow Wednesday night.  

Meanwhile, over in Western Pennsylvania, terrifying dashcam footage captured the moment an EMS vehicle was involved in a head-on crash along a Pittsburgh road. 

The EMS crew was on the scene of another minor car crash and was checking the driver over for injuries when a white car drove round the corner.

The driver and ambulance crews looked on in terror as the car hurtled toward them and was unable to stop, causing them to leap out of its path.

The car struck the EMS vehicle but luckily everyone involved escaped unscathed.  

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: Snowfall records have been smashed across several regions of the East Coast

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE: Snowfall records have been smashed across several regions of the East Coast

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: People digthemselves out of the snow in Brooklyn the morning after the nor'easter struck

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: People digthemselves out of the snow in Brooklyn the morning after the nor’easter struck

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers to stay home Thursday morning

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers to stay home Thursday morning

MANHATTAN , NEW YORK CITY: More snow fell in one day in New York City Wednesday than the whole of last winter

MANHATTAN , NEW YORK CITY: More snow fell in one day in New York City Wednesday than the whole of last winter

MANHATTAN , NEW YORK CITY: New Yorkers dress up warm and enjoy the snow, building a snowman on the sidewalk in Lower Manhattan Thursday

MANHATTAN , NEW YORK CITY: New Yorkers dress up warm and enjoy the snow, building a snowman on the sidewalk in Lower Manhattan Thursday

MANHATTAN , NEW YORK CITY: New York apartments are blanketed in the first snow of the 2020 season

MANHATTAN , NEW YORK CITY: New York apartments are blanketed in the first snow of the 2020 season

Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, two people died Wednesday and many more were injured following a pileup of up to 60 cars on Interstate-80 in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, state police said. 

The driver of another vehicle was killed after they lost control on the road and crashed in Snyder County. Police said no other vehicles were involved in the accident. 

A 19-year-old man from North Carolina, Brannagan Locklear, was also killed in a car crash in Virginia, according to authorities. 

A spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police said the agency had responded to about 200 calls about collisions by 3pm.   

Over in Massachusetts, snow plows grappled to keep pace with the level of snowfall Thursday morning with two to four inches an hour at times across the state. 

Emergency services responded to more than 100 road traffic accidents through the night, and the National Grid was called out to respond to a site in Auburn where a utility pole snapped after a car slammed into it. 

Auburn police issued an alert warning residents that Millbury Street at the Farmer’s Daughter was closed at around 12:30 a.m. and released a picture of the car wrapped around the pole.  

Over on Route 44 in Carver, another car burst into flames in the aftermath of another crash Wednesday night, with firefighters responding to the scene. 

New Hampshire State Police said they had been called out to over 120 crashes and disabled vehicles by 9 a.m., including one incident where a driver plowed into a utility pole along the Interstate 89 northbound around 7:30 a.m. Thursday. 

In New Jersey, state police had responded to more than 200 crashes by 8 a.m. Thursday.  

BROOKLYM, NEW YORK CITY: NYC Transit crews are seen shoveling the snow from sidwalks Thursday morning

BROOKLYM, NEW YORK CITY: NYC Transit crews are seen shoveling the snow from sidwalks Thursday morning

BROOKYLN, NEW YORK CITY: A snow plow and FDNY crews clear the road in Brooklyn after New York City was it by more snow in a day than the whole of the last season

BROOKYLN, NEW YORK CITY: A snow plow and FDNY crews clear the road in Brooklyn after New York City was it by more snow in a day than the whole of the last season

BROOKLYM, NEW YORK CITY: A man wades through the deep snow in Brooklyn Thursday morning

BROOKLYM, NEW YORK CITY: A man wades through the deep snow in Brooklyn Thursday morning 

As well as New York, snowfall records were also smashed in parts of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. 

The National Weather Service in State College, Pennsylvania, recorded 24.7 inches of snow at Williamsport Regional Airport.

This broke the previous record set for the most snow from a single storm when more than half a century ago a single storm dumped 24.1 inches on the site in January 1964.

By early Thursday, Boston had already beaten its own record for the most snow ever seen on December 17.

A total of 9.1 inches of snow had fallen since midnight Wednesday, smashing 2013’s record of 6.4 inches with many more hours of snowfall yet to go. 

Meanwhile, more than 57,200 homes and businesses in Virginia were left without power Wednesday night, per poweroutage.us, along with another 13,000 in New Jersey.  

By Wednesday evening, more than 60 million people were placed under weather warnings.   

There were warnings in place from northern Georgia to New England, with forecasters predicting snow, ice, school closures and power outages across the country. 

Storm Gail, which is the first major snowstorm of the season, is expected to pass through the East Coast and move out to sea by the end of Thursday. 

Most hard-hit areas will see improved weather conditions Thursday afternoon, except the coastal area of New England where snow and strong winds will continue into late afternoon, forecasters said. 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: Snow covers cars on Spruce Street on Thursday as the Greater Boston area is struck by Storm Gail

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: Snow covers cars on Spruce Street on Thursday as the Greater Boston area is struck by Storm Gail

ALBANY, NEW YORK: Troop T members assist Troop G members along Interstate 787 where cars are stuck in snow

ALBANY, NEW YORK: Troop T members assist Troop G members along Interstate 787 where cars are stuck in snow

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: A mini goldendoodle licks snow from its fur in the Dorchester neighborhood during it Thursday morning walk

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: A mini goldendoodle licks snow from its fur in the Dorchester neighborhood during it Thursday morning walk

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A children's playground is covered in thick snow Thursday morning in Lower Manhattan

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A children’s playground is covered in thick snow Thursday morning in Lower Manhattan

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: A man shovels snow from the front of his car Thursday morning

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS: A man shovels snow from the front of his car Thursday morning 

The National Weather Service predicted the heaviest snowfall across central Pennsylvania, which could see up to two feet of snow in total. 

‘This will likely lead to very dangerous, if not impossible, travel conditions and isolated power outages’, the agency added.  

The National Weather Service said Wednesday: ‘Between the snow in the north and the rain in the south, a wintry mix is forecast to stretch across the southern Appalachians and the interior Mid-Atlantic roughly along the I-95 corridor. 

‘Freezing rain is the main concern across this region, as upwards of a quarter inch of ice accretion is possible. This could lead to scattered tree damage and power outages.

‘As the precipitation shield advances north throughout the day, heavy snow will overtake areas northwest of I-95 in the Mid-Atlantic. This means major cities, such as Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, will likely see a wintry mix and potentially plain rain for areas just to the southeast. 

‘Further north and east, heavy snow will also encroach upon much of the Northeast and southern New England this evening, including New York City and Boston.’ 

More than 1,300 flights were canceled in anticipation and train operator Amtrak was forced to modify its service.  

John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York canceled 79 flights Thursday morning while 123 were canceled at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

American Airlines said it had canceled 89 of its flights across the northeastern states and Delta 230 although the airlines expected normal service to resume not long after midday Thursday.   

Several airlines, including American, Delta, Southwest and United, said they were waiving change fees for flights that might be affected as well.  

MANHATTAN , NEW YORK CITY: Residents wake up to a snow covered city after a snowstorm through the night

MANHATTAN , NEW YORK CITY: Residents wake up to a snow covered city after a snowstorm through the night

BROOKYLN, NEW YORK CITY: Crews from the Fire Department New York try to clear the roadways Thursday morning while the snow keeps falling across the city

BROOKYLN, NEW YORK CITY: Crews from the Fire Department New York try to clear the roadways Thursday morning while the snow keeps falling across the city

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A mountain of snow is piled up in the roadway after being cleared from the sidewalks

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A mountain of snow is piled up in the roadway after being cleared from the sidewalks

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: A New Yorker pushes a plow along the sidewalk to clear the wallkways

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: A New Yorker pushes a plow along the sidewalk to clear the wallkways 

The travel disruptions threaten to throw a wrench in efforts to distribute America’s first COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, which began on Sunday.  

But Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday said he is confident that the companies transporting vaccine shipments will be able to navigate the storm, He added that the government is tracking shipments precisely and has staffers in place to receive them.  

‘This is FedEx, this is UPS express shipping. They know how to deal with snow and bad weather. But we are on it and following it,’ Azar told Fox & Friends.  

And despite increasingly treacherous road conditions COVID-19 vaccine shippers said they would not let Winter Storm Gal affect distribution – but that they have made additional plans in case it does.     

A FedEx spokesperson told CNN: ‘We have a team of 15 meteorologists monitoring conditions 24/7, and we have contingency plans in place should we see any severe weather.’ Operation Warp Speed’s Gen Gustave Perna confirmed a ‘safety stock’ of doses should the bad weather cause problems. 

UPS said in a statement: ‘We develop contingency plans based on weather forecasts and local conditions, enabling our employees to safely deliver what matters most.’ 

Some hospitals said they were anticipating delays in shipments as the roads worsened through Wednesday night.  

A spokesman for St Luke’s University Health Network, which has 12 hospitals across Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said it had expected to receive its first vaccine shipment on Thursday but now fears it could be delayed. 

New York Governor Cuomo said the storm is not expected to disrupt New York’s vaccine shipments because it already received its first shipment and the second isn’t due to arrive until next week. 

WILKES BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA: A woman carries a suitcase to her car during heavy snowfall Thursday morning

WILKES BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA: A woman carries a suitcase to her car during heavy snowfall Thursday morning

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: Someone dismounts their bike to push it through the roadway in the treacherous snow

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: Someone dismounts their bike to push it through the roadway in the treacherous snow

BROOKYLN, NEW YROK CITY: A woman braves the record levels of snow in the city as she heads out Thursday morning

BROOKYLN, NEW YROK CITY: A woman braves the record levels of snow in the city as she heads out Thursday morning

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Lower Manhattan is blanketed in morning snow as New Yorkers endure a major winter storm

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Lower Manhattan is blanketed in morning snow as New Yorkers endure a major winter storm

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A tractor with a power brush clears snow from Times Square Thursday morning

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A tractor with a power brush clears snow from Times Square Thursday morning

MEDFORD, MASSACHUSSETTS: As much as 15 inches of snow was predicted before the end of the storm near Boston with heavy snowfall expected throughout the day on Thursday

MEDFORD, MASSACHUSSETTS: As much as 15 inches of snow was predicted before the end of the storm near Boston with heavy snowfall expected throughout the day on Thursday

STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT: Cars blanketed after receiving up to a foot of snow in Stamford overnight

STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT: Cars blanketed after receiving up to a foot of snow in Stamford overnight

MEDFORD, MASSACHUSSETTS: Tow truck crews help push out a driver stuck at an intersection in Medford, just north of Boston

MEDFORD, MASSACHUSSETTS: Tow truck crews help push out a driver stuck at an intersection in Medford, just north of Boston

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A woman braves the snowstorm and heads for a jog through Times Square Thursday morning

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A woman braves the snowstorm and heads for a jog through Times Square Thursday morning

Weather conditions also prompted several major cities, including New York, Baltimore and Hartford to suspend COVID-19 testing until further notice, while hospitals around the region, already struggling with surges in virus patients, pushed back elective surgeries to make room for storm-related admissions. 

Testing centers at New York City hospitals were closed from 2pm Wednesday, while Rhode Island also suspended all testing. 

Washington, DC, also deployed more than 300 snow plows to apply salt to highways, streets, ramps, bridges and elevated roadways overnight Tuesdays as forecasters predicted Gail would bring a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

The capital region was placed under a winter weather advisory and a flood watch on Wednesday. 

First daughter Ivanka Trump took to Twitter to share a video of snow falling around the White House this afternoon. 

‘First snowfall of the season,’ she wrote with a snowflake emoji.   

In Pennsylvania, Gov Tom Wolf signed the disaster emergency proclamation on Tuesday to free up funding for the state’s response. 

‘This proclamation makes it easier for all of those involved in vaccine delivery and keeping people safe to do their jobs,’ Wolf said.  

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: The clear up operation begins around Columbus Circle and the Upper East Side

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: The clear up operation begins around Columbus Circle and the Upper East Side

CARVER, MASSACHUSSETTS: Carver firefighters respond to car fire on Route 44 at the onset of the storm. The fire was a result of a motor vehicle crash

CARVER, MASSACHUSSETTS: Carver firefighters respond to car fire on Route 44 at the onset of the storm. The fire was a result of a motor vehicle crash

NYC: People wait for buses amid heavy snowfall in Manhattan on Wednesday night after the Port Authority shut down routes due to inclement weather from Winter Storm Gail

NYC: People wait for buses amid heavy snowfall in Manhattan on Wednesday night after the Port Authority shut down routes due to inclement weather from Winter Storm Gail

NYC: A snowplow moves through Brooklyn's Midwood neighborhood on Wednesday night

NYC: A snowplow moves through Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood on Wednesday night 

NYC: The streets of Downtown Brooklyn were deserted after nightfall as heavy snow blanketed the area

NYC: The streets of Downtown Brooklyn were deserted after nightfall as heavy snow blanketed the area

PENNSYLVANIA: Two people died in a pile-up involving dozens of vehicles on Interstate 80 in Clinton County, state police said

PENNSYLVANIA: Two people died in a pile-up involving dozens of vehicles on Interstate 80 in Clinton County, state police said

MARYLAND: In Maryland, state police reported a sharp spike in traffic calls soon after the weather arrived, including 161 crashes and numerous stalled or abandoned vehicles on icy roadways

MARYLAND: In Maryland, state police reported a sharp spike in traffic calls soon after the weather arrived, including 161 crashes and numerous stalled or abandoned vehicles on icy roadways

New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy also declared a state of emergency effective 2pm Wednesday as the state prepared to restrict commercial traffic from some highways because of the storm. 

Murphy said his administration would exempt trucks transporting vaccines from travel restrictions, as the state’s hospitals are expected to receive 35 deliveries over the next two days.  

‘Our theme today ought to be: ‘If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” Murphy said as he gave residents storm guidance that’s new this year — mask up if you help your neighbors shovel.  

Massachusetts Gov Charlie Baker likewise raised the alarm Wednesday as Boston braced for up to a foot of snow.  

‘If you absolutely don’t have to travel tonight or tomorrow, it would be great if you could just stay put and let the road crews do the work that they need to do,’ he said. 

‘The last thing we all need to deal with right now, in the midst of everything else that’s going on, are car accidents and other collisions as a result of what will be fairly treacherous driving conditions.’  

The New York City Emergency Management Department brought in 330,000 tons of salt and 2,000 vehicles to plow the streets in anticipation of ‘heavy snow and breezing conditions could cause near-blizzard conditions’.   

WASHINGTON: A mix of rain and snow falls outside the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday

WASHINGTON: A mix of rain and snow falls outside the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday 

Storm Gail sees more snow fall in NYC in one day than the WHOLE of last winter

NYC: Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents of the Big Apple to take the storm seriously and stay inside when possible

NYC: A family plays in the snow in Brooklyn's Midwood neighborhood on Wednesday night

NYC: A family plays in the snow in Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood on Wednesday night

NYC: New Yorkers play around in the snow as Times Square is blanketed in a layer of powder on Wednesday evening

NYC: New Yorkers play around in the snow as Times Square is blanketed in a layer of powder on Wednesday evening

NYC: Snow begins to accumulate on barricades in Times Square on Wednesday evening. Snowfall in the Big Apple is set to be the heaviest December in a decade with 12 inches forecast

NYC: Snow begins to accumulate on barricades in Times Square on Wednesday evening. Snowfall in the Big Apple is set to be the heaviest December in a decade with 12 inches forecast 

NYC: City workers clear snow off bleachers in Times Square on Wednesday evening as the snow began to barrel in

NYC: City workers clear snow off bleachers in Times Square on Wednesday evening as the snow began to barrel in 

PITTSBURGH: People walk along the North Shore at Point State Park on Wednesday night

PITTSBURGH: People walk along the North Shore at Point State Park on Wednesday night

NYC: A woman takes a pic of a child enjoying fresh snowfall in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood

NYC: A woman takes a pic of a child enjoying fresh snowfall in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood 

WASHINGTON DC: A snowman is setup on a ledge near the Capitol on Wednesday. A major winter storm is expected to dump inches of snow and rain on the DC area on Wednesday as it blankets much of the eastern US in wintry weather

WASHINGTON DC: A snowman is setup on a ledge near the Capitol on Wednesday. A major winter storm is expected to dump inches of snow and rain on the DC area on Wednesday as it blankets much of the eastern US in wintry weather

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Now that’s a cold beer! Diners in NYC brave plunging temperatures and racing winds to eat and drink on the city’s snow-covered sidewalks as Storm Gail batters the Big Apple 

Diners in New York City braved plunging temperatures and racing winds to eat and drink outdoors as a powerful nor’easter rolled across the East Coast Wednesday night – bringing with it several inches of snow. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio had urged inhabitants of the Big Apple to hunker down and brace themselves for what could be the ‘worst snow storm in several years’.

But clearly the warning wasn’t heeded by all, with bundled up diners seen chowing down on entrees and sipping cocktails on sidewalks across the city as Winter Storm Gail roared on. 

In Central Park, Manhattan, 6.5 inches of snow and sleet had fallen by midnight Wednesday, the National Weather Service New York reported Thursday morning.

That is more snow in the first day of the season than the city saw throughout the entire winter season last year, when just 4.8 inches fell in total.

On Tuesday, de Blasio temporarily shut down outdoor dining on roadways due to the then-incoming wild weather conditions, but stated that restaurants could still serve customers if they were sitting on sidewalks.

Restaurants and bars across NYC appeared to take full advantage of the loophole on Wednesday night, taking to social media to show off their surprisingly busy outdoor dining areas. 

In the East Village, a number of hooded, coat-wearing patrons were seen dining outside of the The Smith restaurant in the midst of the storm, with their tables dusted in a smattering of snow.

The brave diners gathered in close to one of a number of patio heaters lined up along sidewalk, as temperatures in the city plunged as low as 30F.

 

Scroll down for video 

NYC: A woman eats spaghetti and meatballs on a snowy table outside the 314 restaurant in Harlem

NYC: A woman eats spaghetti and meatballs on a snowy table outside the 314 restaurant in Harlem

In the East Village, a number hooded, coat-wearing patrons were seen dining outside of the The Smith restaurant in the midst of the storm

In the East Village, a number hooded, coat-wearing patrons were seen dining outside of the The Smith restaurant in the midst of the storm 

Staff at a New York City restaurant Trattoria L’incontro have mocked Governor Andrew Cuomo's ban on indoor dining by eating a meal outdoors in the snow

Staff at a New York City restaurant Trattoria L’incontro have mocked Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ban on indoor dining by eating a meal outdoors in the snow

The West Village’s Extra Virgin restaurant uploaded a shot clip to their Instagram page, showing their heated front deck filled with guests seeking shelter from the snowfall. 

Similar scenes were captured at the nearby Peruvian restaurant Baby Brasa, where dwellers were filmed sipping on Old Fashioneds as they danced in the snow out front.

In Harlem, one masked-up diner was seen enjoying a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs with a glass of red wine outside of the Italian bistro, 314.

Her table a perfect slate of white, the woman is seen smiling as she raises up a fork-full of pasta with her gloved hands, in an image posted to the eatery’s Instagram.

Dinner for one: A lonely diner is seen in the above image enjoying a bottle of wine on the sidewalk, out in the elements

The video of the diner was posted to Instagram, though appeared to be a joke

Dinner for one: A lonely diner is seen in the above image enjoying a bottle of wine on the sidewalk, out in the elements

Inhabitants of the Big Apple were warned to hunker down and brace themselves for what could be the 'worst snow storm in several years', with 12 inches predicted to fall

Inhabitants of the Big Apple were warned to hunker down and brace themselves for what could be the ‘worst snow storm in several years’, with 12 inches predicted to fall

At Peruvian restaurant Baby Brasa, dwellers were filmed sipping on Old Fashioneds as they danced in the snow out front

One couple huddled in close as temperatures dropped

At Peruvian restaurant Baby Brasa, dwellers were filmed sipping on Old Fashioneds as they danced in the snow out front

Restaurants and bars across NYC took to social media to show off their surprisingly busy outdoor dining areas

Restaurants and bars across NYC took to social media to show off their surprisingly busy outdoor dining areas

The West Village's Extra Virgin restaurant uploaded a shot clip to their Instagram page, showing their heated front deck filled with guests seeking shelter from the snowfall.

The eatery called the scenes a Winter Wonderland

The West Village’s Extra Virgin restaurant uploaded a shot clip to their Instagram page, showing their heated front deck filled with guests seeking shelter from the snowfall

Diner's at Fiddlesticks Pub were shielded from the elements by some conveniently placed scaffolding

Diner’s at Fiddlesticks Pub were shielded from the elements by some conveniently placed scaffolding

With indoor dining banned by Andrew Cuomo earlier this week, employees at Trattoria L’incontro in Astoria, Queens, took Wednesday night’s storm as an opportunity to mock the New York Governor’s order.

Staffers were seen around a table on the sidewalk in short-sleeve shirts and chef’s whites, sarcastically toasting with red wine as snow flurries fell.  

‘This is what outdoor dining looks like in MY CITY,’ the restaurant’s owner, Rocco Sacramone, wrote in the caption. 

‘I love NY but what a mess we are in. This was my staff today. We normally have 30 to 40. We are down to 5. This is real this is the reality of every restaurant in NYC.’

Sacramone and Trattoria L’incontro have been taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, and have donated meals to frontline workers for the past several months. 

However, Sacramone says he will be forced to fire employees because of the new indoor dining ban. 

‘While Cuomo and the rest of the Government are on pay, they could care less about what the NYC restaurants and workers who will no longer have jobs to support themselves and their families RIGHT before Christmas,’ he wrote on social media last week. 

‘Cuomo is banning indoor dining, but looks the other way when about 200 people are crammed inside in airplane cabins 25,000 times a day. Ridiculous and humiliating to have someone like him decide on our State.’ 

With indoor dining prohibited and outdoor dining set ups temporarily shut down, the restaurant employees were forced to sit on the sidewalk. They are seen sarcastically toasting with red wine as snow flurries fell

With indoor dining prohibited and outdoor dining set ups temporarily shut down, the restaurant employees were forced to sit on the sidewalk. They are seen sarcastically toasting with red wine as snow flurries fell

Sacramone and Trattoria L’incontro have been taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, and have donated meals to frontline workers for the past several months

Sacramone and Trattoria L’incontro have been taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, and have donated meals to frontline workers for the past several months

Sacramone is pictured in his kitchen at Trattoria L’incontro

Sacramone is pictured in his kitchen at Trattoria L’incontro

The restaurant's outdoor dining section had to be closed Wednesday night because it spills out onto the roadway

The restaurant’s outdoor dining section had to be closed Wednesday night because it spills out onto the roadway

Meanwhile, Mayor De Blasio’s outdoor dining ban went into effect 2pm on Wednesday. 

He ordered restaurant owners to move all collapsible tents and portable heaters inside order to prevent damage and allow snow plows to move down roadways. 

In the afternoon, workers at some restaurants were seen trying to dismantle outdoor dining set ups that they had only just completed – often at a great cost. 

For those not willing to dining outdoors in frigid temperatures, deliverymen on bikes were seen pedaling in the hazardous conditions to bring hungry New Yorkers their dinner.  

On Wednesday afternoon, workers at some restaurants were seen trying to dismantle outdoor dining set ups that they had only just completed - often at a great cost

On Wednesday afternoon, workers at some restaurants were seen trying to dismantle outdoor dining set ups that they had only just completed – often at a great cost

For those fortunate to have a backyard at their restaurant, such as Jose Luis in the East Village, then dinners could shield themselves from the snowfall as normal

For those fortunate to have a backyard at their restaurant, such as Jose Luis in the East Village, then dinners could shield themselves from the snowfall as normal

Patrons were still allowed to sit on tables set up on sidewalks and some locals decided to brave the elements just as the storm rolled in early afternoon

Patrons were still allowed to sit on tables set up on sidewalks and some locals decided to brave the elements just as the storm rolled in early afternoon

With indoor dining banned, and more snowstorms a possibility throughout winter, restaurants may not be able to rely on outdoor dining

With indoor dining banned, and more snowstorms a possibility throughout winter, restaurants may not be able to rely on outdoor dining 

With dine-in options effectively out of the equation, deliverymen on bikes were seen pedaling in thick snow to bring New Yorkers their dinner

With dine-in options effectively out of the equation, deliverymen on bikes were seen pedaling in thick snow to bring New Yorkers their dinner

De Blasio said during a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon that street dining could resume on Thursday night just hours after the storm.

‘Street dining will be closed from 2pm onward tomorrow. We’re telling restaurant owners that it’s important where they can to get any of their equipment out of the roadway, particularly heaters,’ de Blasio said. 

‘Sidewalk dining will still be allowed, it may be difficult obviously tomorrow evening, so everyone will decide whether it works for them or not.

‘We’re hoping that by Thursday night, outdoor dining of all kinds will be online again depending on the exact conditions of the snow. Hopefully everything is back up and running for outdoor dining and sidewalk dining by Thursday evening.’

The Mayor was immediately mocked on Twitter, with users sharing a flurry of memes surround the confusion over his orders.   

Indoor dining ended in New York City on Monday even though it accounts for less than 1.34 percent of all new COVID-19 cases.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon that street dining could resume on Thursday night just hours after a huge snow storm is expected to roll through

Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon that street dining could resume on Thursday night just hours after a huge snow storm is expected to roll through

Storm Gail sees more snow fall in NYC in one day than the WHOLE of last winter

Storm Gail sees more snow fall in NYC in one day than the WHOLE of last winter

Storm Gail sees more snow fall in NYC in one day than the WHOLE of last winter

 

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