Blizzard conditions and heavy snowfall have battered parts of the US East Coast sparking transport chaos and power cuts for thousands. Five states declared an emergency hours before piles of snow and high winds blasted the area on Saturday. Some areas of Massachusetts have seen as much as 2.5ft of snow. Nearly 6,000 US flights were cancelled across the weekend.

With multiple blizzard warnings in effect, cities like New York and Boston bore the brunt of the storm, which the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed Saturday morning, had intensified into a bomb cyclone — characterized by the explosive power of rapid drops in atmospheric pressure.

Coastal areas were expected to receive more than one foot of snow by the end of the day, and as much as three feet in parts of Massachusetts, where nearly 117,000 homes were already reported without power.

Residents in towns and cities across the eastern seaboard were urged to stay home and avoid all unnecessary travel in the whiteout conditions. In Long Island, officials said a woman had been found dead in her car.

Ten inches of snow had already accumulated on the island north of Manhattan, and regional train lines were partially shut down to clear ice off the tracks.

A state of emergency has been declared for New York and the neighboring state of New Jersey. New York Governor Kathy Hochul asked state residents to avoid unnecessary travel.
In Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu has declared a snow emergency.

The NWS has forecast wind gusts of 128 to 193 kilometers per hour.

The blizzard comes on the heels of a similar winter storm that blanketed a swath of Eastern North America — from Georgia to Canada — just two weeks ago, cutting power to thousands of homes and also disrupting thousands of flights.