Some synagogues have cancelled services ahead of a potentially historic blizzard.
At least two synagogues in Providence, R.I., have called off Shabbat services this week in light of the expected severe weather. More than two feet are expected in Providence, one of the highest predicted snowfalls.
“Due to the impending blizzard all worship services have been canceled Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” said a recorded message at Providence’s Temple Beth-El on Friday afternoon.
The Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the country, will reportedly not hold prayer services this shabbat for the first time in years.
In New York City, where snow is expected to be lighter, fewer cancellations were reported.
B’nai Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper West Side said services will be held as usual with the exception of a special service for young children, which had been canceled.
“A lot of people live within walking distance so we’re allowing them to use their own discretion,” said a spokesperson.
Forecasters warned of more heavy winds and snowfalls on Saturday, particularly near Boston, where up to 30 inches (76 cm) was expected in some areas, as well as in New York, Connecticut and Maine.
In the first death blamed on the blizzard, one man in his seventies was killed when a driver lost control of her car and hit him in Poughkeepsie, New York, media reported.
The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts lost power and automatically shut down during the storm late on Friday, but there was no threat to the public, said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Winds reached 35 to 40 miles per hour (56 to 64 km per hour) by Friday afternoon and forecasters expected gusts up to 60 mph overnight.
The storm prompted the governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and Maine to declare states of emergency.