US East Coast blanketed by first major blizzard in 4 years

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US East Coast blanketed by first major blizzard in 4 years

The US East Coast is being battered by the first major blizzard to hit the region in four years.

Five states declared an emergency hours before heavy snow and hurricane-force winds blasted the area.

Experts warned of “historic” snowfall in some places and flood warnings have been issued near the coast. Nearly 6,000 US flights have been cancelled.

Forecasters say cold temperatures will remain a problem on Sunday throughout much of the north-east.

The storm, known as a Nor’easter, hit parts of New York and Massachusetts with 2ft (61cm) of snow by early Saturday evening, with more than 95,000 homes in Massachusetts reported without power.

Cape Cod in Massachusetts was one of the worst hit regions, with 100% of customers in the town of Provincetown losing power on Saturday.

Local meteorologist Matthew Cappucci told the BBC the sheer volume of snow was a problem, with 8-10cm of snow falling an hour at one point.

“No road crew in the world could handle this, and that means all the roadways are essentially shut down.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed on Saturday that the storm had undergone bombogenesis, meaning that colder air mixed with warmer sea air, leading to a swift drop in atmospheric pressure. The process leads to a so-called bomb cyclone.