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We'll weather the blizzard, vow Northern Ireland people caught up in US white-out

By Nevin Farrell

Published 25/01/2016

A man makes his way home with some shopping during the snowstorm in New York
A man makes his way home with some shopping during the snowstorm in New York
A photo taken by Northern Ireland man Sam McCready, who lives in the States
A snowplough clears Lexington Avenue in the city

Determined Northern Ireland people caught up in a mammoth snowstorm in the United States last night vowed not to be beaten by the big freeze.

Grainne Major (32), originally from Belfast but now living in the Queens area of New York, is one of those affected by Storm Jonas.

It has killed at least 19 people, and a state of emergency was declared across 11 states. A travel ban in the city was lifted yesterday as conditions improved.

"I am not too confident, but I am determined not to be beaten by the snow and hope to be able to get to work this morning, although it might be a bit slower than usual," she said.

"You just get on with it; it takes a bit longer to get to where you want to go. The subway line that serves me had its above line section shut yesterday."

Grainne's husband, a firefighter, has been busy helping to pull out ambulances and other vehicles trapped in the snow. She said 30 inches of it had fallen outside her home. "The Mayor of New York has been coming in for a lot of criticism over the state of the streets. The streets in my neighbourhood weren't ploughed adequately and there were no cars on the road."

Belfast man Jim Doran said the snow in New York was up to his knees. He told UTV: "I arrived here on Wednesday afternoon and fly home again on Monday night/Tuesday morning via Dublin. At the moment Aer Lingus have my flight as not being delayed/cancelled, so fingers crossed, although I wouldn't say no to an extra day."

Belfast International Airport said an outbound flight to Newark was cancelled on Saturday, and a flight due in Belfast this morning from the eastern USA had also been cancelled.

Meanwhile, warnings have been put in place as Storm Jonas is expected to hit this side of the Atlantic on Tuesday, bringing with it heavy rain and a risk of flooding.

Although Northern Ireland has had mild mid-winter temperatures, which are expected to reach up to 14 centigrade today, weather experts are warning of severe gale force and storm force winds, between 47mph and 63mph, to hit the UK on Tuesday into Wednesday.

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