Thousands of flights grounded as Storm Stella batters US East Coast

Wil Longbottom, News Reporter

A late-season storm has grounded more than 6,000 flights and paralysed much of the east coast coridoor between Washington DC and Boston.

More than 180,000 people have been left without power from Virginia northwards as the storm brought more than a foot of snow in some places, closing schools and triggering safety warnings.

Amtrak suspended services in the region and the post office halted mail deliveries as blizzard conditions brought heavy snow.

Towns in the north of Pennsylvania saw nearly 16 inches of snow, while Wantage Township in New Jersey got at least 17 inches.

Above-ground parts of the New York subway system were shut down and more than 2,800 flights in the New York City area were among those cancelled, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at JFK Airport.

Governors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia declared states of emergency.

In Massachusetts, where forecasters predicted up to 18 inches of snow, Governor Charlie Baker warned motorists to stay off the roads.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy advised people that it was a "good day to make brownies... and or read a book".

Heavy snow was expected to continue into Tuesday, with as much as four inches per hour in some areas.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said around 700 National Guard members would be deployed, along with more than 2,000 snowplows.

The storm comes a week after the region saw unseasonably warm temperatures, with thermometers climbing to the 60s fahrenheit (15 C).

The East Coast has also seen an unusually mild winter, with below-normal snowfall levels.