An impressive December pre-Christmas snowstorm keeps trucking through the Northeast as of Thursday morning. While carriers have been able to get shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to other parts of the country, the storm could delay shipments of the vaccine to large population centers along Interstate 95, from the mid-Atlantic to New England. Delays in general cargo are also likely.
During the day Thursday, the system will slowly move into the Atlantic, with the precipitation and strong winds gradually fading in the afternoon and evening. By Friday morning, the storm will be out to sea far enough for recovery and digging out to begin.
Across parts of the mid-Atlantic, upstate New York and much of New England, transportation will either be nonexistent or very slow. This includes the major cities and transportation hubs such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Newark, New Jersey. Major interstates affected include I-95, I-80, I-81, I-90 and I-87.
Some places, like Binghamton, New York, have been slammed with 24 inches of snowfall or more since Wednesday. Several more inches will pile up Thursday in the main impact zone.
Winds will remain very strong Thursday, diminishing Thursday night. Major blowing and drifting snow will continue, and whiteout conditions will hit many areas. Winds along the coasts of New York and much of New England will also remain very high.
Impact on freight
United (NYSE: UAL) and Delta (NYSE: DAL) airlines have announced restrictions on specialized cargoes at several major airports in the Northeast until further notice. Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) railroad has told its customers to expect freight delays of 24 to 48 hours.
The New York Department of Transportation reported at least one tractor-trailer accident Thursday morning that led to a road closure. It happened on Interstate 81 north of Binghamton. Lanes have been closed on some state and U.S. routes in New York and other parts of the Northeast due to weather-related accidents.
As of Thursday morning, about 56,000 customers had no electricity across Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Virginia (the storm hit parts of the southern Appalachians Wednesday). Additional power outages will be possible.