US east coast braced for ‘historic’ blizzard

A blizzard of potentially historic proportions was threatening the north-east of the US last night, with up to two feet of snow forecast in a corridor including New York city and Boston.

People have been stocking up on food and other storm supplies, and road crews along the east coast readied salt and sand ahead of what forecasters warned could be a record dump of snow.

Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, called off school yesterday and airlines cancelled more than 2,600 flights, with disruption set to ripple across the country.

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“This one doesn’t come along every day. This is going to be a dangerous winter storm,” said Alan Dunham, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Massachusetts.

The snow began falling on Friday morning in some areas, with the heaviest amounts predicted to fall overnight into today.

Wind gusts could reach 75mph. Widespread power failures were feared, along with flooding in coastal areas still recovering from Superstorm Sandy in October.

New York city was expecting up to 14 inches of snow. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 250,000 tons of salt were on standby. “We hope forecasts are exaggerating but you never can tell,” he said.