Northeast Blizzard: Effects To Ripple Across U.S., Appalachia - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Northeast Blizzard: Effects To Ripple Across U.S., Appalachia

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UPDATE

CBS News reports as many as 650,000 people without power mainly in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Snow reports in the region have topped 25 inches in many areas.  New York City saw closer to 10 to 12 inches of snow according to reports to the National Weather Service.  

Former WOWK sports anchor Jamie Staton now lives in New Hampshire and awoke to snow drifts several feet high on his doors and reports a long day of using his snow blower ahead just to get out of his house and driveway.

The Stormtracker meteorologists say there will still be some snow for New England today as well as lingering strong winds at times, but not nearly as intense as the Friday night portion of the storm.  People with travel interests to that region should remain flexible in their plans as it could take a few days to get passengers awaiting flights back on track.  CBS News reports over 5,000 flights canceled now since Thursday.

UPDATE

Reports from New England now show snow drifts as high as car door handles in some areas.  Storm surge can become a problem for coastal areas of New England with winds gusting onshore as high as 75 mph overnight and a rising tide Saturday morning.  

The snow is not entirely negative however.  Another former Huntington resident, Sonya Hall, recently moved to Connecticut and sent WOWK a photo of the snow with this update:  "Beautiful snowy conditions here in New England....we're thankful for Internet so we can keep up w/Spencer Adkins and all our friends at WOWK-TV and in Huntington....and also thankful for electric blankets!!"  

UPDATE

People in the Boston area are under orders to stay off area roadways or face possible jail time and a fine as the storm intensifies.  Wind gusts of up to 71 mph have been reported along the sea coast and thundersnow has been reported with the storm in Connecticut.  

Despite being told there were no flight connections available and that she would be stuck through Monday in California, Huntington resident Erin Highlander was able to find a connecting flight to West Virginia through Atlanta.  She tells 13 News she spent over four hours on the phone with airlines representatives who told her it was not possible to get back to West Virginia until Monday since her original flight was supposed to connect through New York.  She went to the Orange County Airport in person where a gate agent was able to find her a connecting flight and arrived home Friday afternoon.  

"A little luck and a little patience really does go a long way and tonight I'm home with the family," said Highlander.

Her travel problems are not unique as thousands of flights have been delayed from Boston and New York to airports across the nation and even international flights.  

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Two storms are will combine to form a powerful and potent Nor 'Easter storm bringing as many as two feet of snow to parts of New England Friday and Saturday.  Snow from the northern system is also forecast to leave up to a foot of snow across parts of the Great Lakes region into interior New York before meeting up with the southern system, adding the punch needed to create the Nor 'Easter.

Blizzard warnings are in effect for seven states from New Jersey to Main including major cities like Boston and New York City.  The Stormtracker meteorologists say winds along and near the Atlantic coastline could reach 65 miles per hour and remain high for several hours as the system barrels up the coast.

The same northern system should bring rain to central Appalachia on Friday before a quick change to some light snow according to chief meteorologist Spencer Adkins.

"We see the northern cold front pressing across our area with temperatures in the 40s, falling into the 30s late day with about one to three inches of wet snow in the high terrain, generally above 2,500 feet, but the good thing is that this won't last very long.  We should have a dry weekend here, while people up north will literally be digging out of some pretty big snow drifts," said Adkins.  

Winds along the cold front could reach above 30 miles per hour in the high terrain of West Virginia late Friday into Saturday morning according to the Stormtracker meteorologists.  Temperatures below freezing could cause slick conditions in those high terrain areas and anywhere rain water may have a chance to freeze over.  

Travel has already been greatly impacted, hours before the storm.  Boston's Logan International Airport indicated it will close Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon.  As many as 1600 flights have been canceled for the duration of the storm according to CBS News.

Huntington resident Erin Highlander said she is trying to reschedule a flight from California back to West Virginia.  Her original flight was slated to make a connection in New York.  Highlander said she was told all of those flights are canceled and other flights to other connecting hubs are filling up or are already full.  She tells 13 News late Thursday that her airline said it would be Monday before she can book a flight. 

CBS News has continuing coverage of the Blizzard including the following update on conditions and preparations in the Northeast:  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57568289/blizzard-threatens-nyc-new-england-2-feet-feared/

Former WOWK 13 News reporter Jean Mackin, who now works as an anchor at WMUR TV in Manchester, New Hampshire, says signs have been posted near the seacoast as winds and high tide are an even greater concern for residents near the Atlantic coastline on Saturday morning.  

The Stormtracker meteorologists will continue to keep you updated on air and online as the storm unfolds.