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Stop worrying about New York: blizzard Jonas has calmed down
New York and other East Coast cities were paralysed by blizzard Jonas. A perfect Sunday sun began melting the over 26 inches (66 cm) of snow that fell in 24 hours.
Weather forecasting in the United States is taken very seriously: it started in the early history of the country and has always been fundamental to its people given that Nature can be overwhelming in the vast nation, where sudden and violent storms can destroy and kill if no precautions are taken. For the sake of preventing disaster, blizzard Jonas was forecast as a big one a whole week in advance, due to hit the eastern United States over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of January. During this time, people were left wondering whether it would leave 8 inches (20 cm) or 12 inches (30 cm) of snow. In the end, more than 26 inches (66 cm) whitened New York City for 24 hours.
New Yorkers are used to these kinds of alerts, and had already begun buying food and preparing for the snowstorm on Monday the 18th of January. On the morning of Friday 22nd offices started revising their official procedures for emergency weather conditions: even the way people are informed on how not to go to the office in case of weather alerts follows well-established rules. There was a sort of excitement before the storm, as well as long lines at the cashiers and empty shelves in shops as it grew nearer. In the streets, shops, in offices and the subway greetings of “Stay warm, enjoy the snow” were exchanged between the Big Apple’s residents. The storm started slowly on Friday night and went crazy on the morning of Saturday the 23rd.
“Stay home and off the roads”
The storm achieved blizzard status Saturday afternoon. As early as 1pm Mayor Bill De Blasio signed the ban on the circulation of non-emergency vehicles starting from 2:30pm after 18 people died in New York State mainly due to car accidents, the New York Times reported. Outdoor subway lines were suspended too. All Broadway’s performances were cancelled under the Mayor’s suggestion, and more than 10,000 flights were cancelled nationwide. As New York City’s travel ban took effect, the National Weather Service predicted 24-30 inches (60-76 cm) of snow for the metropolitan area, putting it within range of the city’s biggest snowstorm on record, 26.9 inches (over 68 cm) reached in 2006.
Snowboarding in Times Square
With no cars allowed, New York City was enveloped by a strange but beautiful silence and people started going out – but only late in the day and near their homes. Some took the time to play and enjoy the snow.
Everything back to normal with Sunday’s sun
The traffic ban was lifted at 7am on a beautiful but chilly Sunday morning. The city that never sleeps woke up and everyone started digging out the snow, with the Mayor thanking everybody who helped out during yet another difficult time for New York. The National Weather Service has confirmed that Jonas was one of the snowiest blizzards ever to hit the metropolis, second only to the one in 2006.
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) January 24, 2016
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