By Victoria Cavaliere
Dec 8 A massive winter storm that left parts of
the Southeastern United States in a deep freeze pushed up the
East Coast on Sunday, with snow and ice snarling road travel and
forcing another round of airline cancellations.
The storm system dropped between 3 and 6 inches (7.6 and
15.2 cm) of snow on West Virginia early Sunday before blanketing
the Washington, D.C., metro area with its first accumulation of
Marching north, it was expected to pummel the East Coast
with snow, sleet, and freezing rain from Baltimore to north of
Portland, Maine, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm system coated roads and highways from Virginia
through southeastern Pennsylvania with snow and ice, and reduced
visibility made car travel treacherous. The Delaware Memorial
Bridge, which links Delaware with New Jersey, was closed briefly
"due to ice and multiple accidents," according to the bridge's
official Twitter account.
Parts of Maryland, Delaware and southern New Jersey could
get up to a foot (30 cm) of snow, said Brian Hurley, a
meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
"What's really significant about this system is this narrow
band of heavy snow in some areas," he said.
Flights to and from Philadelphia International were
temporarily grounded, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Just to the west of Philadelphia, near Morgantown, more than
50 cars and trucks were damaged in a series of chain-reaction
crashes on the Pennsylvania Turnpike just after noon on Sunday,
turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said.
The crash that started the chain reaction involved 12
vehicles. One man was killed when he exited his vehicle after
that crash, DeFebo said.
In the Northeast, the storm system closed in on New York
City and could linger over the tri-state area through Monday
morning's rush hour commute. The New York City Department of
Sanitation issued a "snow alert" starting Sunday afternoon, and
was preparing salt spreaders and plows to clear covered roads.
An expected 1 to 3 inches of snowfall in Philadelphia and
New York City would be the first of the season, and comes about
10 days earlier than the average first snowfall, according to
the National Weather Service.
2,500 FLIGHTS CANCELED
Professional football games went ahead but several players
were injured by slipping on the slick fields.
Snow covered the ground and stands at Baltimore's M&T
Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens played the Minnesota Vikings
in driving wind and 25-degree Fahrenheit (minus 4 Celsius)
conditions. The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Detroit Lions in
near white-out conditions.
The blast of cold air and precipitation also brought light
snowfall to the Midwest, including parts of Illinois, Iowa and
A number of traffic accidents were reported on
Milwaukee-area roads and freeways, including a pileup of as many
as 20 cars that shut down a highway in Racine County. In a
separate crash, one person was killed after a vehicle flipped
over along a slick road, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office
In Arizona, about 300 vehicles were stuck overnight
Saturday to Sunday on a mountainous, 30-mile stretch of
Interstate 15 in northwestern Arizona after heavy snow and icy
conditions led to a chain-reaction crash set off by multiple
jack-knifing semi-trailer trucks, said Bart Graves, spokesman
for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
No one was hurt, despite multiple vehicles crashing into
each other or skidding off the road, Graves said. More than
2,500 flights were canceled nationwide on Sunday, according to
tracking website Flightaware.com. Airports in Newark, New
Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia reported delays.
More than 2,000 stranded passengers slept on cots and in
chairs at the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport Saturday night, down from
about 4,000 the night before, said spokesman David Magana.
Sunday evening, more than 1,000 passengers planned to stay
overnight at the airport, Magana said. Airport officials
provided tents for families with small children, as well as
musicians, comedians, face-painters and balloon artists to amuse
the stuck passengers, he said.
More than 400 scheduled Dallas-Ft. Worth departures were
canceled by mid-afternoon on Sunday, he said.
North Texas was still shivering under below-freezing
temperatures left behind after an ice storm knocked out power
lines, leaving some 267,000 customers in without power at the
height of the storm, according to utility provider Oncor.
The storm also battered Arkansas and Tennessee with ice,
snow and zero-degree temperatures, leaving streets a slick and
slushy danger zone. At least three people were killed when their
cars skidded off the road, authorities said.
As many as 7,000 people in Tennessee were still without
power Sunday. "For some of our customers it may take a couple of
days to get their power back," said Rob Fisher, director of
Emergency Management for Dickson County.
The Arctic chill from the storm was so widespread that
Western states, including Nevada, Washington and California,
were slammed with snow, sleet and record-setting cold
temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures in Jordan, Montana, fell to a record low of 42
degrees Fahrenheit below zero (minus 41 degrees Celsius) on Dec.
7, also the lowest temperature recorded for the country during
The cold weather system will leave the East Coast on Monday,
the National Weather Service said.