Washington: A massive winter storm that drove parts of the US into a deep freeze over the weekend kept a tight grip on the nation yesterday, as bitter temperatures, snow and ice spread across the East Coast, snarling traffic and knocking out power to thousands.
Northern Maryland received 7 to 10 inches of snow over the weekend, while central and eastern Pennsylvania got 4 to 10 inches, and parts of New York received up to 10 inches through Monday morning. Sleet and freezing rain also pummeled the area, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
From 1 inch to at least 5 inches of snow were forecast for last night into this morning for an area stretching from Virginia into New York, the weather service said.
Meanwhile, dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills were forecast for the western half of the US, the weather service said, with temperatures about 10 to 30 degrees below average from the Rockies to the Great Lakes and lower Mississippi Valley.
“I don’t think things are going to warm up anytime soon,” said Bruce Sullivan, National Weather Service meteorologist.
The Arctic effect was widespread, stretching from the west coast to the east. The temperature in Jordan, Montana, fell to 42 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (minus 41 degrees Celsius) on Saturday, the lowest US temperature recorded during the storm.
Among other lows, Burns, Oregon, in the northern part of the state, hit a record minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, said Sullivan. Minneapolis was forecast hitting a high of 1 degree Fahrenheit (minus 17.2 Celsius), with wind chill values as low as minus 21 degrees.
Thousands of homes and businesses were without power yesterday morning, and thousands of flights were delayed as snow and ice covered roads, highways and airport runways from Texas to Virginia and north through Pennsylvania.
AAA Mid-Atlantic, the auto group, said it pulled 109 vehicles out of snow and ice in Pennsylvania on Sunday, compared with three the week before.
At least three people were killed in weather-related car accidents in Arkansas and Tennessee as well, authorities said.
Virginia officials warned drivers of hazardous travel conditions, said Laura Southard, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Emergency Management.
Frigid temperatures persisted in the nation’s midsection yesterday morning, and travel was snarled in airports and along roadways due to icy conditions.
More than 1,600 flights were cancelled nationwide yesterday, according to Flightaware.com, with “excessive delays” reported at Boston’s Logan International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International, and Philadelphia International airport, among others. Reuters