East Coast snowstorm causes New York City to issue travel ban

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ASSOCIATED PRESS – There will be no traveling to New York City and more than 500 vehicles are stuck in a turnpike backup in Pennsylvania during the big snowstorm hitting the East Coast.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced a travel ban in New York City as a massive storm hits the region with up to two feet of snow.

Cuomo said all non-emergency vehicles must be off the roads after 2:30 p.m. Eastern time today. Mayor Bill de Blasio says the police will enforce the ban.

Cuomo says local railroads and all above-ground parts of the subway system are also shut down.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses stopped running at noon.

Because of the travel ban and the suspension of public transportation, all Broadway shows — both matinees and evening performances — are being canceled.

Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League, which represents producers, says she expects normal operations to resume for tomorrow’s matinees.

BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 23: Snow covers up cars on a side street on January 23, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. Heavy snow continued to fall in the the Mid-Atlantic region causing blizzard conditions and affecting millions of people. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE, MD – JANUARY 23: Snow covers up cars on a side street on January 23, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. Heavy snow continued to fall in the the Mid-Atlantic region causing blizzard conditions and affecting millions of people. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf says more than 500 vehicles are stuck in a miles-long backup in the western part of the state. Emergency crews have been delivering supplies and officials are working to move people to shelters if needed.

Wolf told reporters Saturday afternoon that each vehicle had been checked at least once, and workers had been delivering food as well as fuel to make sure engines keep running so the heat can stay on.

He says they are currently working to get shelters in place quickly so people can be moved to them in buses if necessary.

Wolf also noted the rest of the community “is in as good a state as can be expected.” But he warned people to stay off the roads and said another major problem could prompt a closure of highways in the area.

In West Virginia, an interstate highway north of Charleston has reopened after as many as 200 vehicles were stranded overnight amid a snowstorm.

The logjam of mostly tractor trailers on Interstate 77 was cleared by noon Saturday after road crews plowed the snowy highway surface and a fleet of wreckers pulled out stuck vehicles.

And now at least 12 deaths are now blamed on the snowstorm.

Authorities say a Kentucky transportation worker died today while plowing snow-covered highways. A Maryland man died today while shoveling snow.

And North Carolina troopers are reporting that state’s sixth death. State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Michael Baker says a motorist died after losing control of her car and hitting a tree.

 

 

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