BOSTON — People in the Northeast stocked up on food and supplies and road crews readied salt and sand Thursday as the region braced for a major winter storm that could bring up to 2 feet of snow to places that haven’t seen significant accumulations in more than a year.
The National Weather Service said most of southern New England could see anywhere from 18-24 inches between today and Saturday, and some other forecasts cautioned that totals could be even higher. Suffolk County in New York was under a blizzard watch, as were parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
New York City was expecting between 4 and 6 inches of snow. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said plows and 250,000 tons of salt were being put on standby to start clearing the streets.
“We hope forecasts are exaggerating the amount of snow, but you never can tell,” he said, adding that if bad weather has to happen, it’s better to have it on a weekend.
Meteorologist William Babcock with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass., says it’s looking like it is going to be a very powerful storm. If everything falls the way it has the potential to it could be among the top 10 snowstorms in New England history.
The storm would hit just after the 35th anniversary of the historic blizzard of 1978, which paralyzed the region with more than 2 feet of snow and hurricane force winds from Feb. 5-7. The last major snowstorm in southern New England was the Halloween storm in 2011, which knocked out power to many with heavy, wet snow.