A MASSIVE blizzard has hit the American Northeast, sending residents scurrying to stock up on food and supplies ahead of a storm poised to dump up to three feet (nearly a metre) of snow from New York City to Boston and beyond.
Even before the first snowflake had fallen, airlines scratched more than 4,000 flights. Towns and cities across New England and upstate New York cancelled school.
"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 Taunton, Massachusetts. "Wherever you need to get to, get there by Friday afternoon and don't plan on leaving."
The heaviest snowfall was expected last night and into this morning. Widespread power failures were feared, along with flooding in coastal areas still recovering from superstorm Sandy in October.
Boston could get nearly a metre of snow, while New York City was expecting up to 12 inches (30 centimetres).
Yesterday, five Aer Lingus flights between Dublin and the US were cancelled.
While all of today's flights are due to depart as scheduled, a spokesman for the airline said that passengers should check the website before they travel to the airport.