A blizzard is wreaking havoc across the Northeast and Midwest
, with reports of 20 inches of snow covering parts of New England as a freezing cold front ices highways and grounds flights from New York to Maine.
Interstate 84 in New York as well as the Long Island Expressway were both closed at midnight, while John F. Kennedy Airport as well as Boston's Logan International Airport remain shutdown
as the blizzard barrels down on the Northeast with snow and sub-zero wind chill, NBC News reported.
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"It's going to be brutal," Weather Channel coordinating meteorologist Tom Moore
said. "People that are vulnerable are really going to be hurting."
More than 20 inches has already been recorded in parts of Northeast Massachusetts as a result of the winter storm named Hercules. In Boston, residents are waking up to a foot of snow outside their window.
The severe weather prompted Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to dismiss all state workers at 3 p.m. Thursday. He urged residents to limit their time outdoors and be wary of frostbite and hypothermia, describing the conditions as "a very, very dangerous set of circumstances," NBC News noted.
Upstate New York residents face similar conditions, with 18 inches reported Thursday night in Rochester, while parts of Eastern New York and Long Island are expected to get upwards of 14 inches of snow, with wind gusts up to 45 mph.
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New York City received seven inches as of Friday morning, leading newly sworn in Mayor Bill de Blasio to close schools and vow that he will be "on top of the action"
to keep the streets clean.
The blizzard is expected to begin to clear up between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Friday morning, according to the Weather Channel, which estimates that more than 100 million people will be impacted by the storm between the Northeast and Midwest combined.
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