Northeast Snowstorm Hits Area Hard

Posted on Jan 30, 2015

A winter storm expected to produce some of the highest snowfall levels on record began to leave a dusting on the ground in New York City, the Tri-State Area and New England on the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 26. The current predictions indicate a steady, unspectacular stream of snow through the rest of the day, with snowfall picking up overnight into Jan. 27 and potentially leaving more than 36 inches of snow on the ground in some areas. The size of the weather system is itself remarkable, as it's predicted to impact an area ranging from northern Maine south through most of New Jersey, including all points in between. Major cities in the area, from Bangor, Maine to Providence, Rhode Island and Newark, New Jersey are all preparing for a major storm that could have a serious impact on personal safety and business operations.

"The National Weather Service called the weather system both historic and life threatening."

A snowstorm is expected to bring much of the northeastern US to a standstill

Travel will be difficult if not impossible
CNN reported that the governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York had all taken measures to keep residents safe and reduce the potential harm of the situation. The two New England states both have driving bans in place for the night of Jan. 26, while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and said he is considering a travel ban as well. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio instituted a city-wide driving restriction for all privately owned vehicles starting late Monday.

Reaction is likely warranted
Although the true severity of the storm won't be known until it passes over the area or dissipates, predictions from agencies careful in language use and threat assessment such as the National Weather Service are dire. CNN said that agency called the weather system both historic and life threatening. The wide area of impact as well as the heavily populated nature of that region are both factors in the response thus far to the storm.

Business, school and road closures
Reuters pointed out the various travel and parking bans as an attempt to limit
the chance of injuries and death. Businesses in the busy Northeast corridor are less than happy about the plans, but the need for safety is obvious and paramount. Companies that are only now planning for the effects of the storm are at a disadvantage as compared to those with the right risk identification tools in place. With local and international travel likely to become a short-term impossibility, organizations that don't have contingency plans in place or haven't been able to enact those plans will suffer during the days it takes to dig out afterward.

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