Temperature in as many as 20 cities across the East reached record-breaking lows on Sunday.
New York, the earlier record of which stood at 2 degrees, witnessed 1 below zero at Central Park. Meanwhile, Boston saw a temperature of 9 below, and Toronto’s temperature plummeted to 16 below over the weekend, CNN reports. Massive snow and rainfall is expected to affect as many as 75 million people across the Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard.
“Life-threatening” temperatures and wind chill warnings were placed into effect for Northeast and New England on Saturday. The expected temperatures in certain parts of upstate New York slid down to 30 below zero. The National Weather Service said the temperatures could reach subzero lows in several parts of Upstate New York and New England.
On Saturday, Pennsylvania witnessed massive snowfall that caused a pileup along Interstate 78, PennLive.com reports. At least three people were killed in the horrendous accident. The weather, which injured 70 others, also prompted one of the four major medical helicopters to turn back.
“It was definitely a whiteout. I couldn’t see any farther than probably two city blocks,” Allentown’s Raoul Jardine said. “I saw brake lights and pulled off to the side. Somebody hit me when I was parked in the shoulder.”
The freezing temperatures are expected to cause widespread power outages and disturb flight schedules along the East Coast, though it has not been forecasted to remain for a long period of time. There were fears that the extreme and severe weather would cause damage, downing trees and power lines, in interior southern and mid-Atlantic states.
AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said, “While the amount of snow and ice is not certain at this time, there is the potential for enough snow to shovel and plow in the Appalachians and interior Northeast. Closer to the coast, a small amount of snow and ice could lead to very slow travel on the roads and numerous flight delays.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to prepare for extreme weather conditions. “The city is facing some of the coldest temperatures and wind chills we’ve seen in the last 20 years,” he said. “Extremely cold weather can be life-threatening — especially for seniors, infants and people with medical conditions.”
He added, “I think, the combination of the way New Yorkers have heeded the warnings, and the fact that our first responders are out constantly scanning for anyone who might need help, it’s been very effective. And thank God, we have no reports to date of any fatalities.”