Storm grounds New York air traffic

All air travel in or out of New York has been halted as airlines ground their planes in response to an intensifying blizzard across New England.

LaGuardia and Newark Liberty Airport in neighbouring New Jersey stopped all flights late on Friday afternoon, and John F Kennedy International Airport was doing the same by early evening, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office said.

"The five New York City airports are open, but airlines are operating on a greatly reduced schedule, with more than 2300 flights cancelled as of mid-afternoon," Cuomo said.

"In the event that some travellers become stranded, airport personnel are preparing cots, blankets and other essentials to assist customers. All air travellers should check with their carriers regarding resumption of flights tomorrow."

Tom Bosco, general manager of LaGuardia, said there were "no further airline arrivals or departures tonight."

"We will strive to keep the airport open throughout the storm, even if the airlines have shut down for the night," he told NY1 television.

He estimated that in the case of a a foot (30cm) of snow - the worst case scenario forecast for New York - services would resume "probably by mid-morning."