More Than 5,000 Flights Canceled as East Coast Braces for Heavy Snowfall ::

A powerful winter storm was bearing down on a wide swath of the East Coast early Saturday, hours after it prompted the governors of New York and New Jersey to issue emergency declarations and forced the cancellation of more than 5,000 flights.

As of 1 a.m., snow had been falling in New York and New Jersey for several hours. No major power outages had been reported in the Northeast. Yet people up and down the coast were bracing for heavy snowfall, treacherous travel conditions and the potential for widespread power failures.

In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s emergency declaration took effect at 8 p.m. Friday. It applied to New York City, Long Island, and Rockland and Westchester counties. Five to 10 inches of snow were expected in the city and the mid-Hudson region, and up 16 inches were forecast to fall on Long Island.

In other places, particularly the Boston area, meteorologists were predicting high winds, at times approaching hurricane force, and up to 2 feet of snow.

The National Weather Service said that heavy snowfall would be concentrated over the southern coast of New Jersey from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and over parts of New England later in the morning. It predicted that areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island could see “whiteout conditions” and as much as 2 to 4 inches of snow per hour.

“Plenty more snow is on the way,” the service’s Boston office said on Twitter, in a post that showed a picture of its snowy parking lot.

As of Friday afternoon, blizzard warnings had been posted for central and eastern Long Island, southeastern Connecticut and all of Rhode Island, as well as parts of Delaware, Maine and Massachusetts. Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia had also declared a state of emergency, and airports across the region were busy canceling flights.

Data from FlightAware, a site that tracks flights and the airline industry, showed that most of the 1,100-plus canceled departures on Saturday had been scheduled to take off from Boston Logan International Airport and the three main aviation hubs for New York City: LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty.

Delta said on Friday that it would suspend operations at those airports through Sunday morning, and that it expected to restart them on Sunday afternoon if conditions allowed.

The storm, described by forecasters as “powerful and dangerous,” was expected to push northward over the weekend, just offshore from the East Coast. The weather service said that in addition to strong winds and whiteout conditions that could make travel “nearly impossible” at some points, parts of the region could also see coastal flooding. This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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