About 75 million people in the United States have been warned to stay at home as a massive blizzard bringing more than two feet of snow and fierce winds is advancing up the US east coast.
Reports said that the nation’s capital, Washington, could lie under a record 30 inches of snow by the time the storm passes on Sunday.
Eight people had been killed, six states had declared states of emergency, and thousands of flights had been cancelled.
The weather system is affecting a large part of the country, from Arkansas in the south to Massachusetts in the north-east.
Extremely Dangerous Storm
On Friday afternoon, as the first snow fell in Washington, the National Weather Service said it could be one of the worst storms in the city’s history.
The BBC reports that residents in the capital and surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland have been warned the snowfall could eclipse the district’s record of 28in that fell during a two-day period in 1922.
As the weather system approached the country’s most populous city, New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio, urged residents to be ready.
New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, a Republican presidential candidate, returned from the campaign trail in New Hampshire to take charge of snow preparation.
Catholics in Washington, Baltimore, and Delaware were told by archdiocese officials that missing Mass this Sunday was excusable given the terrible conditions.
National Weather Service Director, Louis Uccellini, said the system had “the potential of being an extremely dangerous storm that could affect over 50 million people”.