Feb 13 A deadly and intensifying winter storm
packing heavy snow, sleet and rain pelted a huge swath of the
U.S. East Coast on Thursday, grounding flights and shuttering
schools and government offices.
Winter storm warnings and advisories were in place from
Georgia up to Maine, and the powerful system could blanket the
Atlantic Coast over the next two days with 12 to 18 inches (30
to 46 cms) of snow, said Jared Guyer, a meteorologist with the
National Weather Service.
"It's a very messy scenario," Guyer said. "Roads remain
The Washington, D.C., area awoke to its heaviest snowfall of
the winter. The federal government was closed, along with school
districts in the area.
Washington's bus service was suspended, and residents were
advised to stay home if possible rather than risk a commute
through snow accumulations of as much as a foot throughout the
All runways at the city's Dulles and Reagan National
airports were closed, as well as schools in Philadelphia,
Baltimore and New York.
About 4,470 domestic and international flights were canceled
and another roughly 290 were delayed early on Thursday morning,
according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.com.
The storm system, which has dumped heavy snow, sleet and
freezing rain from eastern Texas to the Carolinas since Tuesday,
was blamed for at least 13 deaths in the Southern region and for
knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of customers.
An ice storm warning was in effect for parts of central
Georgia on Thursday morning, after about one inch (2.5 cm) of
ice had accumulated there and into South Carolina. Schools
across the South were closed again on Thursday.
Roughly 8 inches of ice and heavy snow has now accumulated
in parts of North and South Carolina, Guyer said, possibly a
"The catastrophic part is mostly the ice across the South
where they're getting anywhere from a half inch to an inch of
ice accumulating on power lines and trees," said Bob Oravec,
lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in College Park,
Traffic on interstate highways ground to a halt on Wednesday
as the snowfall picked up quickly and fatal road accidents and
weather-related deaths were reported in Mississippi, South
Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.
Governors declared states of emergencies from Louisiana to
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Additional reporting by Bill
Trott; Editing by Sophie Hares)