NEW YORK - States of emergency were declared in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for a potentially life-threatening nor'easter that packed blizzard conditions and a blanket of heavy snow.
Travel was dismal, with thousands of flights canceled for Tuesday. Amtrak also canceled or modified service up and down the Northeast Corridor, and motorists were urged to stay off the roads.
In New York City, the above-ground portions of the subway system were shut down at 4 a.m. Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy imposed a statewide travel ban beginning at 5 a.m.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel and help keep the roads clear.
NEW YORK CITY
Mayor de Blasio also announced that all New York City schools were closed Tuesday ahead of the storm, but that school would be back in session Wednesday.
The New York City Department of Sanitation issued a "Snow Alert" that began in advance of the storm. Calling a Snow Alert allows DSNY to begin to prepare for a response by loading salt spreaders, attaching plows, preparing tire chains and notifying other city agencies and supplementary personnel as needed.
DSNY coordinates with the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Transportation on snow clearing protocol in accordance with each agency's written snow plan.
Nearly 700 salt spreaders and 1,600 snow plows were be deployed across the five boroughs.
An interview with Kathryn Garcia, sanitation commissioner:
Interview with Kathryn Garcia
All winter weather information and information about the City's response to the storm can be found by visiting the city's Severe Weather website or by calling 311.
Con Edison issued an advisory that the combination of snow and gusting winds could knock trees into power lines, causing customers to lose power and creating a safety hazard.
Customers can report downed power lines, outages and check service restoration status at ConEd.com or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).
In the Bronx:
Snowstorm: In Fordham section of Bronx
Slushy streets, flooding affect travel in Queens
Snowstorm: Downtown Brooklyn
Freezing temperatures, flooding main issues on Long Island
On Tuesday morning, the main concerns on Long Island were black ice and wind, which can knock down power lines and trees.
South Shore towns also saw some coastal flooding, with high tides that ran 2 to 3 feet above normal.
Road crews in Nassau and Suffolk counties have been out since Sunday, pre-treating the roads.
In New Jersey, a coastal flood warning was issued for Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex, Atlantic, Cape May, Burlington and Cumberland counties, as whipping winds and higher than normal tides led to increased wave height and moderate flooding that took a bit out of some beaches.
The strong northeast winds and roiling surf were expected to cause erosion at many spots. In the Toms River section of Ortley Beach, one of the Jersey shore's most vulnerable spots, the storm washed away about 10 percent of the man-made dune that officials pushed up against the boardwalk.
Erosion also was taking place in Atlantic City, Seaside Heights and several other shore communities. But it was difficult to immediately assess the extent of the damage until the surf receded. In Point Pleasant Beach, a small memorial park dedicated to fishermen who lost their lives at sea was inundated by flooding from the Manasquan Inlet, with only a bronze statue of a fisherman peeking above the waves.
Several thousand power outages were reported, though PSE&G advised customers that it had extra personnel on hand to respond to emergencies.
This morning in Paramus:
Snow in Paramus, N.J.
Crews in Rockland County are preparing to keep main roads, like Route 59, open during Tuesday's blizzard. Clarktown's Highway Department spent the day Monday filling salt trucks and preparing equipment for snow removal.
NEW YORK STATE
Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Tuesday for all of New York's 62 counties, including New York City's five boroughs. The Democrat also directed non-essential state employees to stay home from work.
The New York State Emergency Operations Center was activated Monday evening, with stockpiles of sandbags, generators and pumps at the ready. Cuomo urged commuters to drive with caution for the Tuesday commutes and to avoid unnecessary travel.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy imposed a statewide travel ban beginning at 5 a.m., which is set to expire at 5 p.m. However, conditions will still be slick, and motorists are encouraged to stay off the roads.
Heavy snow fell throughout the morning, with winds as strong as 60 miles per hour, and some areas saw upwards of 2 feet of accumulation. Nonessential state employees were instructed not to report to work, and schools were closed in cities including Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven.
"Good day to make brownies," Malloy said. "Or read a book."
Malloy said Tuesday that state troopers have responded to nearly 90 calls to help motorists and 28 accidents with no major injuries - totals he says would be much higher without the travel ban.
The Red Cross canceled 11 blood drives Tuesday, putting a strain on the blood supply. Malloy urged people to donate blood on Wednesday.
Click here for the latest AccuWeather forecast.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)