Nightly News   |  January 02, 2014

‘Triple Threat’ of Wild Weather Strikes Northeast

Some parts of the Northeast are already seeing snow, but the worst part of this wintery weather has yet to hit. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

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>>> good evening. on this january 2, it's one thing to call it the first major winter storm of the new year, but it is also the biggest snowfall in a long while in a lot of places. it's the timing of the massive storm in the eastern par of the country around so many transportation hubs that's causing problems tonight. before this is over, more than 100 million americans will be affected by the storm in 20 of the 50 states . all the way from the midwest to the northeast. doesn't seem to juan to leave some areas that are in the thick of it tonight. in other spots it's just getting started just as millions of people are getting started traveling after the holiday break . it's where we begin our coverage this thursday night. nbc's ron mott starts us off from boston . ron , good evening.

>> reporter: hey, brian. good evening to you. it's starting to get nasty but good news ton. the evening rush has moved smoothly. a relief to folks trying to get home. make no mistake, we expect to get pounded by the triple threat of heavy snow, strong winds and bitter cold. what may amount to 24-plus hours of nonstop snow beganle falling before dawn , at times whipped up by stiff, blustery winds.

>> this is a big one. the new year nor'easter is a monster.

>> reporter: warnings from new york to maine about the size and scope of the storm put officials on high alert. new york governor andrew cuomo .

>> mother nature is starting the new year showing us who's in charge.

>> reporter: massachusetts governor patrick.

>> the temperatures will be extreme. that's a serious hazard.

>> reporter: across the northeast into new england the sweeping storm is upsetting travel plans. delays and cancellations rule the flight boards at laguardia and logan which expect to shut down later tonight. in maine, hard hit by a recent ice storm , plows and shovels dig in. same scene in neighboring new hampshire.

>> i try to get out early, get it knocked down.

>> reporter: in rhode island , a rapid freeze triggered water main breaks.

>> the road was lifted up because there is a foot of fost.

>> reporter: by contrast, niagara falls is a picture of beauty. further south in new york city , cleanup crews are ready. back in metro boston --

>> the flooding has already started to take effect.

>> reporter: coastal flooding on the south shore is adding to the list of worries. work continued on stabilizing sea walls , hoping they will hold back the wind-driven ocean at high tide . statewide, nearly 1900 crews fanned out to clear and treat roads with chemicals. around the clock operation to keep pace with the heaviest snowfall. a boston homeless shelter is ready for a full house tonight. 760 beds and then some.

>> we'll pull out cots, mats. make sure everybody has a warm place to stay tonight.

>> reporter: richard o'neil is among them.

>> i'm grateful to be able to have a place like this to stay. cold winter 's night. a great relief. great relief.

>> reporter: tonight the governors of new york and new jersey have declared states of emergency . we expect the list to grow as we move into the teeth of the storm in the overnight hours, brian.

>> ron mott from boston tonight.