New York Declares Weather Emergency as Winter Storm Heads North

Up to 16 inches of snow expected in parts of Northeast as South thaws out.

January 11, 2011, 2:30 AM

Jan. 11, 2011— -- New York City has declared a weather emergency as the winter storm that grounded travelers and created icy roads across the South barreled into the Northeast.

According to, 2,496 flights have been cancelled across the country today, on top of the more than 2,500 that were cancelled Monday due to weather.

As it moves up the coast, weather forecasters said it will combine with snow from the Midwest, bringing eight to 16 inches of snow in some areas, particularly in New England and New York's Long Island.

"It will be intensifying rapidly later today and tonight as it moves north," National Weather Service Meteorologist Christopher Hedge told ABC News Radio. "And some heavy snow will be moving into the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, especially along the I-95 corridor from New Jersey all the way up through Boston."

Watch "World News with Diane Sawyer" for the latest on the weather tonight on ABC.

Snow is expected to arrive tonight and into the overnight with the heaviest snow to fall east of New York City.

The New York City Department of Emergency Management cautioned the public to avoid unnecessary driving during the storm.

Boston has declared an even more severe snow emergency and will be under a blizzard warning from 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

It's the third time since Christmas a snowstorm has targeted the Northeast. Connecticut resident Denise Creacy says it's too much.

"I need a break, but everybody's getting it. My brother's from Atlanta and he texted me. He goes, 'It shut down the city we have six inches,' " Creacy told ABC News Radio. "'I'm like, six inches? What's that.' Get your broom, you'll be fine."

From the Carolinas to Georgia to Tennessee, Southeast residents face lingering problems as authorities work to restore power and commuters drive on ice-covered roads.

The storm dropped about 15 inches of snow in parts of Jackson County, N.C., Monday.

Pete Hutchinson was shoveling about a foot of snow at his gas station in Waynesville so he could open for business.

"Just trying to get shoveled out so we can make some money," he said. "Not good for business, but it sure is pretty."

Atlanta Drivers Struggle with Unusual Snowfall and Icy Roads

Atlanta drivers are facing chaotic conditions after 4 to 7 inches of snow and sleet turned many of the interstates into sheets of ice.

Across the city, cars spun out of control smashing into medians and ice coated highways caused a multi-truck pile-up.

Accidents were widespread all across the South.

North Carolina State Department of Transportation trucks rushed to keep up with the snowfall.

"This last snow band has covered everything that we uncovered so we're playing catch up right now," Bill Hammond of the state's Department of Transportation said.

But the icy roads aren't their only concern. About 1,000 people in the Atlanta area are still without power.

Thousands of canceled flights backed up planes around the nation on Monday.

Traveler Dontae Keys was left stranded in Miami.

"Everything is delayed. Looks like the pipeline from here to Atlanta, everything's shut down," Keys said. "So we're going to be here for a couple days."

Airlines from Delta to AirTran have canceled flights and the majority of airlines have issued fee waivers, allowing travelers to change their itineraries at no cost.

But travelers may still run into trouble.

Daniel Baker, CEO of FlightAware, told ABC News that Atlanta is not equipped to handle this kind of storm.

"We're going to see cancelations to and from cities that have nothing to do with Atlanta," Baker said. "For instance, you might see a flight from Minneapolis to Los Angles canceled because the plane is stuck in Atlanta."

ABC News' Gerard McNiff, Scott Mayerowitz and Emily Schmidt contributed to this report.

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