New York in the grip of "historic" storm

A blizzard for the history books is how some forecasters are calling the snowstorm which is pummelling the Northeastern United States.

Five governors have declared states of emergency as around 350,000 homes and businesses lost electricity, roads were closed and thousands of flights disrupted.

New York’s three major airports shut down with stranded passengers at Laguardia being offered emergency bedding. Over four thousand flights were cancelled.

Winds gusted to 60 kilometres per hour driving the snow expected to reach up to 60 centimetres in some areas.

There is no let up with forecasters predicting the storm was just ramping up to full strength.

“And by the time the storm passes early Saturday afternoon we are expecting to have accumulations of ten to fourteen inches across the five boroughs based on the latest national weather service,” Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York told reporters.

People were warned to stay off the roads, advised to remain at home and to stock up on food and other supplies. The storm is raging along the New York to Boston corridor which is home to some 25 million people and for many the devastation of October’s hurricane Sandy is still fresh in their minds.

Meanwhile in Canada its reported a snowstorm driving across southern Ontario has left at least three people dead.