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Major Snowstorm Bears Down on Eastern US


Bethany Gallagher, of Baltimore, shops for a snow shovel with her 18-month-old son, Jack, at the Waverly Ace Hardware store, in Baltimore

Bethany Gallagher, of Baltimore, shops for a snow shovel with her 18-month-old son, Jack, at the Waverly Ace Hardware store, in Baltimore


The U.S. East Coast is preparing for a major snow storm that weather experts are calling “historic” even before any snow falls.

The storm could produce blizzard conditions in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and New York City. At least 15 states expect heavy snow until Sunday.

Weather officials expect between 30 and 90 centimeters of snow. Officials expect strong winds, ice and coastal flooding during the storm.

Some cities and states, including Washington and Maryland, have declared states of emergency. Government leaders are asking the millions in the storm's path to be “better safe than sorry.”

“Be [careful], stay home on Saturday unless you have to travel somewhere,” said Anthony Santino, a city official for Hempstead, N.Y.

Snowstorm Wine Chart

Snowstorm Wine Chart

Residents of the nation's capital experienced winter weather earlier this week. Washington had barely 5 centimeters of snow Wednesday. But many drivers were stranded because of a thin layer of ice on the roads. Some people abandoned their vehicles in the middle and on the side of the road.

Leading up to the weekend storm, supplies are difficult to find at hardware stores and grocery stores. Supplies of bottled water, wood for fires and snow shovels are limited.

“The fastest moving thing has been snow shovels. We are down to the last few of them,” said Derek Staton, who works at a hardware store in Virginia.

Schools in the Washington area closed Friday in preparation for the storm. The federal government only required its employees to work for half the day on Friday.

The capitol's public transportation system will close Friday evening and plans to stay closed through Monday morning.

I'm Pete Musto.

Zlatica Hoke reported on this story for VOANews.com. Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

blizzard – n. a severe snowstorm that goes on for a long time

stranded – adj. abandoned or unable to go somewhere

abandoned – adj. left by the owner

shovel – n. a tool with a long handle that is used for lifting and throwing dirt, sand or snow

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