Snow blanketed the streets, flights canceled, schools closed and traffic became jammed as Storm Stella hits US

A powerful winter storm Stella has hit the north-eastern US, prompting flight cancellations, school closures and warnings from city and state officials to stay off the roads.

Snow blanketed the streets, and as elsewhere, schools were closed and traffic became jammed up.

The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

The storm contributed to the cancellations of more than 7,746 flights, disrupted travel for more than 400,000 travelers, according to FlightAware data. Multiple states have declared states of emergency.

In Washington, DC federal government employees were told to work from home if possible or arrive three hours late.

More than 46,000 customers in Central Virginia were without power Tuesday morning, according to Dominion Virginia Power.

Parts of northern Pennsylvania reported nearly 16 inches of snow before 9 am, with the mountains there and in upstate New York recording over two feet.

Amtrak, a popular option for travel along the Atlantic seaboard, halted all service.

The US Postal Service also cancelled mail delivery for the day.

In New York above-ground commuter trains and parts of subway lines ended service mid-day due to ice on the tracks and increasing thunder and rain.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the storm spared the city itself and hadn’t been as bad as predicted – but at least a couple of districts had experienced blizzard conditions.

“Mother nature is an unpredictable lady sometimes. She was unpredictable once again today. All the forecasts said the storm would hit New York City and Long Island the heaviest, although it would affect the entire state,” he told a news briefing.