Snow plows clean I street North West in Washington, DC January 23, 2016. AFP / Mladen ANTONOV
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A monster blizzard that has paralyzed the U.S. East Coast intensified on Saturday afternoon as it barreled into New York City, prompting a travel ban on area highways as high winds whipped up record-setting tides in New Jersey and Delaware.After dumping nearly two feet (60 cm) of snow on the suburbs of Washington, D.C., overnight, the storm unexpectedly gathered strength as it slammed into the New York metropolitan area, and forecasters bumped up snowfall predictions to up to 30 inches (76 cm) by Sunday.A high tide of 8.98 feet (2.74 m) was recorded at 7:51 a.m. on Saturday at Cape May -- slightly higher than the record of 8.9 feet previously set by Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012 . A high tide of 9.27 feet was recorded at Lewes, higher than the 9.2 high tide recorded in March 1962 .Snowfall measured 13 inches near the White House and 3.5 inches near the National Mall on Saturday morning, the NWS reported.The record high of 28 inches of snow in the nation's capital was set in 1922 and the deepest recent snowfall was 17.8 inches in 2010 .Philadelphia and New York were expected to get up to 18 inches of snow before the storm abated.
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