Taoiseach forced to cancel some US events amid blizzard warning

A spokesperson earlier said the main priority was making sure Enda Kenny arrived in Washington before Wednesday morning

Taoiseach forced to cancel some US events amid blizzard warning

Taoiseach Enda Kenny listens to the Irish national anthem after his arrival at the Massachusetts Statehouse. Picture by: Elise Amendola/AP/Press Association Images

The Taoiseach has been forced to cancel some of his events in the United States due to winter storms and threats of up to two feet of snow.

Enda Kenny was due to attend an event honouring the life and work of John F Kennedy tonight.

However, he has already cancelled that event - and is likely to call off a day-long visit to Rhode Island tomorrow.

Thousands of flights have already been cancelled in the region due to a blizzard which is set to hit overnight.

Earlier, a spokesman for the Taoiseach suggested the biggest priority was making sure Mr Kenny arrived in Washington ahead of his first appointment there on Wednesday morning.

Almost half the US was caught in an icy blast on Monday after an unusually warm winter.

But forecasters have warned the next few days will get worse with the arrival of Winter Storm Stella which will bring blizzards and heavy snow.

The storm could bring record-low temperatures late on Monday into Tuesday, as well as "blizzard conditions in places, difficult travel and power outages," the National Weather Service has warned.

A blizzard warning was issued for New York, with forecasters saying snow is expected to make travel "extremely dangerous".

Winter storm warnings are also in place for areas from Washington DC to southern Maine, where winds of up to 100 km/h are expected.

The weather service said: "Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous.

"Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency."