— BOSTON (AP) — A storm that forecasters warned could be a blizzard for the history books began battering the New York-to-Boston corridor Friday, grounding flights, closing workplaces and sending people rushing to get home ahead of a possible 1 to 3 feet of snow.
From New Jersey to Maine, shoppers crowded into supermarkets and hardware stores to buy food, snow shovels, flashlights as well as generators — something that became a precious commodity after Superstorm Sandy in October. Others gassed up their cars, another lesson learned all too well after Sandy. Across much of New England, schools closed well ahead of the snow.
Drivers were urged to stay off the streets lest their cars get stuck, preventing snowplows and emergency vehicles from getting through. New York City ran extra commuter trains in the afternoon to help people get home before the brunt of the storm hit.
"This is a storm of major proportions. Stay off the roads. Stay home," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
The storm mercifully arrived at the start of weekend, which meant fewer cars on the road and extra time for sanitation crews to clear the mess before commuters in the New York-to-Boston corridor of roughly 25 million people have to go back to work. But it could also mean a weekend cooped up indoors.
Rainy Neves, a mother of two in Cambridge, Mass., did some last-minute shopping at a grocery store, filing her cart to the brim.
"Honestly, a lot of junk — a lot of quick things you can make just in case lights go out, a lot of snacks to keep the kids busy while they'd be inside during the storm, things to sip with my friends, things for movies," she said. "Just a whole bunch of things to keep us entertained."