(CNN) – A fast-moving winter storm that hit parts of Kentucky and Virginia is expected to cause widespread disruption in the Northeast on Friday and Saturday, dumping 4 to 12 inches of snow in major cities.
More than 60 million people are under winter alert, and local authorities have taken precautionary measures to prepare for the densely populated area, including closing government offices and schools.
According to CNN meteorologist Robert Shackleford, snow is expected to reach 12 inches in Boston, between 4 and 6 inches in Washington, between 3 and 5 inches in New York and up to 4 inches in Philadelphia.
Winter weather, along with the disruptions of COVID-19, is causing major headaches for air travelers. According to the British newspaper, The Guardian, nearly 2,000 flights were already canceled on Friday flightaware.com.
In Connecticut, all state executive branch office buildings will be closed Friday, and non-essential employees have been asked to work remotely.
“It looks like this is a major winter storm about to affect our state, with snowfall rates expected to reach more than one inch per hour and cause snowfall and only occur during rush hour in the morning,” Governor Ned Lamont said in a statement. .
He also encouraged people not to go out on the roads if possible.
New York City activated its winter weather plan with 330,000 tons of salt, more than 700 spreaders and more than 1,600 spare plow vehicles, while neighboring New Jersey declared a state of emergency.
Governor Phil Murphy warned that the combination of snow and wind could lead to blackouts due to the blackout. And encourage people to work remotely if possible, as a storm is likely to make travel risky.
3900 teams ready for snow operations
In Massachusetts, officials asked non-emergency state employees not to come to work on Friday.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said it has approximately 3,900 pieces of state and vendor equipment available for snow and ice operations that include snowplows, distributor kits and forward winches, and it expects to deploy approximately 2,500 pieces of equipment for this storm.
Boston said all public schools in the city will be closed on Friday “due to bad weather.”
Schools in the area are already facing severe staff shortages, although it is unclear how closely the coronavirus is related.
In Virginia, the National Guard is mobilizing to help manage emergencies as the state faces a second winter storm this week, according to Virginia Army and Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Tim Williams. Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency.
The next storm will be smaller, but it will hit storm-like areas of Virginia earlier in the week, National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff O’Rourke said.
“Generally, we’ll see three to four inches with some secluded amounts, 4 to 6 inches at higher elevations, and at the same peaks we can see 6 to 8 inches,” Orrock said, adding the potential for more snow “5 to 6 inches above I-95 Corridor.
Federal government offices and Washington public schools will be closed Friday. However, Mayor Muriel Bowser said some coronavirus testing and vaccination centers will remain open.
Winter weather is also affecting COVID-19 vaccination and testing centers in Maryland and Virginia.
The Maryland Department of Health will postpone opening hours at various locations on Friday, and the Virginia Department of Health says five community immunization centers will be closed due to bad weather.
Kentucky declares a state of emergency
Kentucky Governor Andy Bashir declared a state of emergency after heavy snow fell across the state on Thursday. The state’s National Guard has been activated on all interstate shutdowns.
“Severe weather affects travel on major, state and local highways, as well as causes power outages and damages to public infrastructure and private property,” Bashir said in a statement.
He urged people to stay off the roads if possible, adding that the Red Cross is monitoring the need for warm-up stations and search and rescue teams have already been activated to check the safety of stranded motorists.
The weather caused multiple accidents at the Western Kentucky Parkway on Thursday.
State Police Information Officer Scotty Sharp said the only injuries were minor and not life-threatening.
Robert Shackleford, DCNN, Dave Allsopp, Mary Kay Maloney, Brian Vitagliano, Elizabeth Joseph, Sahar Akbarzai, Jade Tim Garcia, Amy Simonson and Jessica Jordan are contributing informants.