New Yorkers have been warned to stay inside amid forecasts of a "potentially historic" blizzard, which is expected to result in widespread power cuts and significant travel disruption.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a blizzard warning for New York City and its surrounding areas, which describes the storm as "crippling and potentially historic."
The National Guard has been drafted in to help deal with the emergency situations. In Massachusetts, 500 guardsmen have been called on duty while in New York State 260 New York Army and Air National Guard will be assisting with problems.
The National Basketball Association has announced that the game between the Sacramento Kings and the New York Knicks has been cancelled. In the state of Connecticut a state-wide travel ban in place. The state order warns the highways could be "life threatening".
Non-emergency vehicles have been banned across New York City's roads. States of emergency have also been declared in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey.
The forecaster expects the region will be hit by around 18 to 24 inches of snow, and subjected to strong gusts of wind up to 55 miles per hour.
“This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told local media on Sunday. “Don't underestimate this storm ... prepare for the worst.”
Yesterday, de Blasio whipped up something of a Twitter storm, posting a series of tweets to remind workers that they may have to leave early tomorrow.
If you’re going to work today, please head home early - and take mass transit when you do. Stay off the roads as much as possible.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 26, 2015
Prepare for tomorrow's storm. If you must go to work, go in early and go home early. It will not be safe to be on the roads in the snow.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 25, 2015
5,000 flights on the East Coast have been cancelled so far.
Both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are among the airliners that have cancelled flights departing from London Heathrow, many of which were scheduled to leave this afternoon or tonight.
British Airways said: "We're sorry that some of our customers' travel plans have been affected due to poor weather forecast across the east coast of the USA."
"We're doing everything we can to minimise any disruption, and assist our customers in making alternative travel plans."