INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Several states and Washington DC have declared a state of emergency in anticipation of a massive winter storm headed to the northeast.
Twelve to 30 inches are expected, blizzard watches have been issued and hundreds of flights cancelled.
This entire system could eventually impact around 75 million people.
“We are bracing for the first big storm of the winter and I want to let all my fellow New Yorkers know that we are prepared and the agencies here are ready for what’s coming up ahead,” said NYC mayor Bill deBlasio.
The storm won’t hit most of Indiana directly, but Hoosiers are already lining up to help those affected.
IPL is sending 23 people to West Virginia and Duke Energy deployed 260 contractors from Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky to areas east.
The Salvation Army, Midwest Food Pantry and the Red Cross are all ready to help if the call comes.
The Indianapolis International Airport is preparing for stranded passengers. Many of those passengers left Thursday, ahead of the storm.
“I definitely need to get home before it hits,” said Jared Mull, who was flying home to Charlotte, NC after visiting Indianapolis.
“What we’ve been told is most of the businesses in our area, including ours, will be closed through Saturday,” said Marty Lambert who’s flying back to Greensboro, NC. “We don’t expect a clearing until Sunday.”
Message boards at the airport were all clear today, but that can change quickly.
Airport officials said they’re expecting airlines to start canceling most, if not all flights to the east coast.
They said that would eliminate passengers stranded here.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty with this storm. So we’ll have to see what Mother Nature brings,” said North Carolina governor Pat McCrory.
The intensity will vary from area to area, but at least 20 states are expecting a wallop.
“The last I heard was 13 to 18 inches, everything shutting down, everybody’s going to run to the grocery,” said Katherine Campbell, who was flying to New York City.
Airport officials urge you to contact your airline if you plan on flying between Thursday night and Sunday.