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Storm Juno: New York city shuts down as winter snowstorm downgraded

17-year-old boy dies after he crashed into a lampost while snow-tubing down a NYC street with friends

A 17-year-old boy snow-tubing down a New York street with friends has crashed into a light pole and died, police said.

Suffolk County police say it happened at around 10pm on Monday in Huntington on Long Island.

The boy was one of three teens taking turns snow-tubing. Police say he apparently lost control of the tube and struck a light pole.

Police identified the victim as Sean Urda of East Northport. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Long Island was under a blizzard warning at the time of the crash. A meteorologist with the National Weather Service says moderate to heavy snow was falling and winds were gusty.

New York deserted

The city that never sleeps was deserted last night as forecasters predicted the 'worst snowstorm in years' was taking grip of the East coast of America.

New York City was a ghost town as people hunkered down for the storm - which for most failed to live up to predictions.

Forecasters originally said the storm could bring up to 3ft (1m) of snow and punishing hurricane-force winds. But early today, they downgraded most of those numbers, saying New England would fare the worst, but even then not as bad as expected.

Bruce Sullivan, of the National Weather Service, said Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, could get the most snow - about 2ft (0.5m). New York could see up to 20in (50cm), Hartford, Connecticut, up to 2ft (0.5m), and Philadelphia and central New Jersey about 6in (15cm).

The National Weather Service over the weekend had issued a blizzard warning for a 250-mile (400km) swathe of the region, meaning heavy, blowing snow and potential whiteout conditions.

Yesterday, life abruptly stopped across the region as officials ordered workers to go home early, banned travel, closed bridges and tunnels, and assembled their biggest ploughing crews.

Nile Rodgers of Chic and Get Lucky fame was in the middle of it all as his apartment looked out over the eerie scenes of the deserted city.

He tweeted: "Here's something I have never seen before and I'm a lifetime New Yorker, no buses, cars, people or subway service."

He continued: "My living room has a bay window, so here's a northern view. The street's deserted in this direction too!"

In a bizarre sight he pictured a lone woman walking along the usually hiving New York City streets.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, echoing the concern of many government leaders said: "When you wake up in the morning, it is going to look like a blizzard," said

Light snow fell steadily early today in midtown Manhattan as a few municipal trucks rumbled down empty streets. The city had an almost eerie feel to it, with no planes in the sky making for an unexpected quiet.

More than 7,700 flights in and out of the north east were cancelled, and many of them may not take off again until tomorrow. Schools and businesses finished early. Government offices closed. Shoppers stocking up on food jammed supermarkets and elbowed one another for what was left. Broadway stages went dark.

Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers to go home and stay there, adding: "People have to make smart decisions from this point on."

Commuters like Sameer Navi, of Long Island, were following the advice.

The 27-year-old, who works for Citigroup in Manhattan, said he takes a train every day and left work early yesterday after warnings by local officials to get home before the brunt of the storm.

In New Jersey, snowploughs and salt spreaders remained at work on the roads last night in Ocean County, one of the coastal areas that was expected to be among the hardest hit. There was a coating of snow on the roads, but hardly any vehicles were travelling on them, as residents seemed content to stay indoors and monitor the storm in comfort.

Most businesses in the area had gone dark, including some convenience stores and gas stations.

On Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange stayed open and said it would operate normally today as well.

Utility companies across the region put additional crews on stand-by to deal with anticipated power outages.

New Yorkers ask where is the storm?

Social media users in some parts of New York and Boston, questioned the strongly worded weather warnings.

Five hours after a New York City travel ban shut down all major mass transportation throughout the city, social media users in the US had began to raise doubts about the reports of #Snowmageddon2015.

Thousands took to Twitter using the hashtags #Blizzardof2015 and #Snowmageddon2015 to share their weather observations- with many saying that the conditions didn't seem any worse than that which the region experiences each winter.

One user wrote: "Now I know why they named this storm Juno. it's because everyone's asking, 'Hey, Ju-know where the snow is?"

Another said: "2.33am in Brooklyn - Feels like a normal snow storm outside except for the city is completely empty #blizzardof2015".

Storm Juno: Teenager dies while snow-tubing in New York

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