Snowstorm sweeps northeast U.S., NYC spared its brunt

World Today

Winter WeatherCars are buried by drifted snow from a winter snowstorm, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Marlborough, Mass. A storm packing blizzard conditions spun up the East Coast early Tuesday, pounding parts of coastal New Jersey northward through Maine with high winds and heavy snow. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

“A life threatening” and “potentially historic blizzard” are just some of the superlatives initially used to describe a storm that’s swept across the northeastern United States. Fortunately, it appeared it was nowhere near as severe as predicted. Blizzard warnings for a number of states have been lifted, and things were slowly getting back to normal. CCTV America’s Karina Huber reported this story from New York City.

Blizzard warnings lifts in some US states

"A life threatening" and "potentially historic blizzard" are just some of the superlatives initially used to describe a storm that's swept across the northeastern United States. Fortunately, it appeared it was nowhere near as severe as predicted. Blizzard warnings for a number of states have been lifted, and things were slowly getting back to normal. CCTV America's Karina Huber reported this story from New York City.

Massachusetts has been the hardest hit state in the first blizzard of 2015 that pummeled parts of New England. Some communities experienced up to three feet of snow and more than 70 mile-per-hour winds, which lead to whiteout conditions.

The island of Nantucket, roughly 30 miles south of Cape Cod, was virtually cut off. It lost power and phone service. Ferries to the mainland were suspended.

In coastal towns residents asked to be evacuated. There was flooding and worries about electrical fires. Other parts of the state also experienced power outages.

“This is clearly a very big storm for most of Massachusetts, and I’m glad we had a little bit of advanced warning to plan for it. I think that’s going to help us in terms of our ability to get out of it early and to make it possible for people to get back up and operating as soon as possible sometime tomorrow,” Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker said.

Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island also got hit by the storm.

In New York City, the storm was underwhelming. Up to three feet of snow was expected but in Central Park there was less than a foot on the ground. The travel ban has been lifted and public transit is back up and running.

Forecasters admitted they got it wrong when it comes to the Big Apple and city and state officials were on the defensive for shutting down the city.

“Would you rather be ahead of the action or behind? Would you rather be prepared or unprepared? Would you rather be safe or unsafe? My job as a leader is to make decisions, and I will always err on the side of safety and caution,” Mayor of New York City Bill De Blasio said.

East of New York City in Long Island, the situation was more drastic with some areas hit by two and a half feet of snow. Snow removal equipment was deployed from New York City to those areas.

While the worst of the storm is over, the headache continues for the thousands of travelers stranded by the more than 7,000 flight cancellations caused by the blizzard.

Travel was still snarled, with more than 4,500 flights canceled at U.S. airports, according to FlightAware.com.

Google Weather, Hazards, Emergency Preparedness map, maintained by the Google Crisis Response team.

Story compiled with CCTV America and AP reports.