Massive winter storm bears down on Northeast

Blizzard warnings have been issued in parts of 8 Northeast states, causing thousands of school cancellations and halting work and travel for millions of Americans.
3:45 | 03/14/17

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Transcript for Massive winter storm bears down on Northeast
Team coverage and ginger zee starts us off in times square. Good morning, ginger. Hey, good morning, guys. I don't know if you can hear that, that is sleet mixing into our snow in New York City which I think we have about 3, 4 inches. It is heavy, it is wet and I've seen reports up to 4 and even 5 inches just north and west. North and west is going to be key of the let me take you trait into the warnings, first, freeze warnings in the south but it's blizzard warnings that have been extended to Scranton, Pennsylvania, through the Hudson valley. Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. That's where we believe the heaviest snow totals will eventually fall. Why? Well, let's look at this. The radar happening right now, snow you sigh in New York City but that wintry mix has overtaken Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. Had a mix over and rain and mist at times, so the closer you are to the coast, the lower your snow totals. That's how it's been positioned. Just a couple of miles makes a huge difference, 12 to 24 region. Anywhere with elevation will see some numbers top even two feet into parts of new England and I wanted to quickly say, the most important part on top of the snow and the rain and the ice is the wind. Gusts of 50 to 68 in New Haven, 51 in Boston. Visibility low and difficult day. To rob Marciano who right now is in Philadelphia. We've been ticketing this morning. I know you have sleet earlier. What do you have now, rob? It's still going on, ginger, turning to sleet just a few hours ago and it's become quite painful. That's Independence hall. The roads about three to four inches of snow. A little slushy thankfully because they pretreated. Obviously right on the rain/snow line with temperature at the freezing mark. This is a complicated massive system, already slammed the midwest and now it is turning into a messy monster of a storm for the northeast. This morning, the strengthening blizzard beating down on the northeast from Pennsylvania to Maine. A treacherous morning commute. Whiteout conditions turning major highways like I-95 into slip and slides. That was almost a wipeout. Reporter: In Brooklyn a car spinning out into a guardrail. I'm very worried. It is bad. Reporter: Snowplows scrambling to keep up. It's nasty out here. Reporter: The white stuff falling faster than the salt can be spread. Should be a very serious blizzard. One that everyone should take seriously. Reporter: New York City bracing for 10 to 15 inches, transformed 2,000 garbage trucks into snowplows struggling to keep the 6,000 miles of streets clear. Governors declaring states of emergency in New York. Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut. Every report we've had on it it will snow hard and fast for a long period of time and it will create whiteout conditions. Reporter: The coastline could see wind gusts over 60 miles per hour later today. And we're certainly feeling those winds pick up here in Philadelphia where a snow emergency is in place and we do have mass transit that's running albeit slowly but basically what the emergency says you have to get your cars off the road or they'll be towed because they want the plows to try to keep the roads clear. Our affiliate showing us some footage of the roads here in Philadelphia mentioned most are pretty slushy but this sleet is going to turn back over to snow later on today and see more in the way of accumulation. 400 pieces of snow removal equipment here in this city. Another 200 at the airport where most of the airlines have halted operations for the day. The record snow for March for a day here in philly by the way 11.7. Just a few miles north in the suburbs a foot easily, maybe two is possible. Michael, back off to you. All right, thank you, rob. All right, stay safe there, rob.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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