A plow clears a parking lot at the Hudson Valley Towne Center parking lot in Fishkill

  • The first snowstorm this season brought several inches of snow, slowing New York City’s Thursday commute
  • A total of eight deaths have been reported from Winter Storm Avery as it swept across the country
  • The winter storm traveled up the East Coast on Thursday with 80 million people in its path
  • Washington DC saw snow in the morning with winter precipitation arriving in New York City early afternoon
  • Snow and ice have been expected from St Louis and the Appalachian Mountains through New England 
  • Commuters were advised to avoid the Port Authority Bus Terminal due to extreme overcrowding 
  • The terminal had become an immovable block of wall-to-wall commuters all gazing up at the schedule board 
  • Airline chaos rippled across the country, with at least 464 flight cancellations and over 1,946 delays
  • A dozen school districts in New Jersey and as well as districts in Connecticut sent students home early 

The first wintry blast of the season brought several inches of snow, contributing to eight deaths across the country and slowing New York City’s Thursday evening commute to a crawl.

From St. Louis to the South and into the Northeast, snow, freezing rain, and in some parts, sleet, made driving tricky and closed schools Thursday.

And the storm will continue to cause travel disruptions and power outages into Friday with the potential for up to 12 inches inches of snow from western Maryland to northwestern Maine, AccuWeather reports.

Eight people have died as a result of weather-related road accidents. They include three people killed in separate accidents in Ohio, Indiana and Maryland, two people who died in a tour bus accident in Mississippi and another three people who died in two separate incidents in Arkansas.

‘In some areas, it is possible that one to two inches of sleet falls on top of the snow,’ AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

In New York City, the wet snowfall and wind gusts on Thursday downed numerous tree branches and police advised people to stay indoors and avoid the roads.

Commuters were also advised to avoid the Port Authority Bus Terminal – which is also used by some to travel to New Jersey – due to extreme overcrowding.

By 5:30 p.m., the terminal had become an immovable block of wall-to-wall commuters all gazing up at the schedule board. Lines of people waited to get into the terminal as officials urged them to take trains or ferries.

Shocking photos from inside the station show hundreds of commuters sporting their winter jackets and hats as they are crammed in. The terminal was partially closed down and travelers were banned from entering the second and third level.

As a result of the storm, the city’s students were left stranded on school buses late into Thursday night. Special-needs student George Jordan spent seven hours on a bus home to the Bronx, the New York Post reports.

The poor weather made it difficult for buses to reach the terminal, officials said. And a multi-vehicle accident on the George Washington Bridge and the closure of the Bayonne Bridge connecting Staten Island to New Jersey added to the traffic nightmare.

A mayoral spokesman said the early storm meant that Metropolitan Transportation Authority didn’t have snow chains on its buses. He said many of them had to pull over, ‘further clogging streets.’

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Hundreds of commuters are seen packed inside the Port Authority Bus Terminal as they wait for buses which faced more than two-hour delays

Hundreds of commuters are seen packed inside the Port Authority Bus Terminal as they wait for buses which faced more than two-hour delays

Commuters were advised to avoid the Port Authority Bus Terminal  due to overcrowding

Commuters were advised to avoid the Port Authority Bus Terminal due to overcrowding

A board shows cancelled flights due to a snow storm at the Newark Liberty International Airport on November 15, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The early season storm caused flight cancellations in much of the northeast

A board shows cancelled flights due to a snow storm at the Newark Liberty International Airport on November 15, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The early season storm caused flight cancellations in much of the northeast

A World Trade Center bound PATH train is covered in snow as it sits in Newark Penn Station on November 15, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey

A World Trade Center bound PATH train is covered in snow as it sits in Newark Penn Station on November 15, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey.

A person stands in the snow outside the Oculus Transit Hub on November 15, 2018 in New York City. New York experienced its first snowfall of the season on Thursday with expectations of over an inch of snow to fall on the area

A person stands in the snow outside the Oculus Transit Hub on November 15, 2018 in New York City. New York experienced its first snowfall of the season on Thursday with expectations of over an inch of snow to fall on the area

Pedestrians walk through snow and ice in Manhattan on November 15, 2018 in New York

Pedestrians walk through snow and ice in Manhattan on November 15, 2018 in New York

A bicycle covered in snow is seen in Manhattan on November 15, 2018 in New York

A bicycle covered in snow is seen in Manhattan on November 15, 2018 in New York

A tree collapsed on top of a parked car in Manhattan on November 15, 2018 in New York

A tree collapsed on top of a parked car in Manhattan on November 15, 2018 in New York

Ileina Weber shovels snow in front of her house in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania on Thursday

Ileina Weber shovels snow in front of her house in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania on Thursday