3 Jan 2014

Big snow storm hits north-eastern US

9:40 pm on 3 January 2014

The north-eastern part of the United States has been hit by a major winter storm, with 53cm of snowfall recorded in one town in Massachusetts.

Thousands of flights have been cancelled as heavy snowfall moved eastward from the Midwestern states.

New York's Broadway blanketed in snow.

New York's Broadway blanketed in snow. Photo: AFP

The New York and New Jersey governors have declared a state of emergency, urging people to stay indoors.

Many schools and businesses have closed amid warnings the storm will worsen overnight and into Friday morning, the BBC reports.

"We're going to see a lot of snow and a lot of wind," said Jason Tuell, of the US National Weather Service. "We're concerned about whiteout conditions possibly tonight with the blowing and drifting snow."

Outreach teams were working to get homeless people off the streets in New York City and Boston.

Late on Thursday evening, the National Weather Service said unofficial observations had recorded 53cm of snow in Boxford, north of Boston. Other areas of Massachusetts as well as New York experienced similar falls.

Similar accumulations were also expected in parts of the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, where many residents were recently without electricity because of an ice storm.

Snowy roads have already been blamed for a vehicle crash in Indiana that killed one person and injured more than a dozen after a truck lost control and hit a bus carrying 50 people.

In Canada, temperatures of -26C have been recorded in Montreal and Winnipeg.