Storm pun­ishes swath of U.S. with snow, ice and freez­ing rain

Connecticut Post - - NEWS -

A win­ter storm that con­trib­uted to at least five deaths in the Mid­west pum­meled the mid-At­lantic re­gion for a se­cond day Sun­day, bring­ing with it an icy mix that knocked out power, can­celled flights and con­trib­uted to hun­dreds of car ac­ci­dents.

Vir­ginia State Po­lice said the driver of a mil­i­tary sur­plus ve­hi­cle was killed late Satur­day af­ter he lost con­trol on In­ter­state 81 be­cause of slick road con­di­tions.

Po­lice said Ron­ald W. Har­ris, 73, of Gainesville, Ge­or­gia, died af­ter his ve­hi­cle was struck by two trac­tor-trail­ers. The two trac­tor-trailer driv­ers were taken to a hos­pi­tal for in­juries that were not lifethreat­en­ing. The state med­i­cal ex­am­iner de­ter­mined Sun­day that Har­ris' death was storm-re­lated, po­lice said.

Vir­ginia State Po­lice said they re­sponded to more than 300 traf­fic crashes and helped nearly 200 dis­abled ve­hi­cles in Vir­ginia from mid­night to late Sun­day af­ter­noon.

The storm knocked out power to nearly 200,000 peo­ple in Vir­ginia and North Carolina at its height Sun­day, ac­cord­ing to Power Out­age.us.

In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper de­clared a state of emer­gency Sun­day to help util­ity crews re­store elec­tric­ity more quickly af­ter power lines fell be­cause of freez­ing rain, ice and top­pled trees. The state's western moun­tains and foothills were hardesthit along with the western Pied­mont re­gion and nearly 1,000 state trans­porta­tion work­ers were called out to clear ice and snow.

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice re­ported nearly a half-inch of ice in some sec­tions of western North Carolina, lead­ing to fallen trees and power lines but other ar­eas of the state got mostly a cold rain or freez­ing pre­cip­i­ta­tion.

Mean­while, the storm caused headaches for travelers into and out of air­ports in the re­gion, in­clud­ing more than 250 flight can­cel­la­tions Sun­day at the three main air­ports serv­ing the na­tion's cap­i­tal. Wash­ing­ton's Dulles In­ter­na­tional Air­port tweeted that the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion had im­ple­mented a ground stop there on Sun­day evening, im­pact­ing both in­bound and out- bound flights.

For air travelers, the Dullest air­port au­thor­ity sub­se­quently tweeted tips for fly­ing on a snow day, in­clud­ing fre­quently check­ing for air­line flight changes and pack­ing “pa­tience, a good dose of snow hu­mor & a packet of hot choco­late.”

By late Sun­day af­ter­noon, the Wash­ing­ton, D.C. metro area, north­ern Vir­ginia and parts of Mary­land had to­tal snow­fall ac­cu­mu­la­tions rang­ing from 5 to 8 inches. Cen­tral Vir­ginia, in­clud­ing Rich­mond, had much smaller ac­cu­mu­la­tions — as lit­tle as 1 inch — but the snow was fol­lowed by hours of sleet and freez­ing rain.

Marc Chenard, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the Weather Pre­dic­tion Cen­ter in Col­lege Park, Mary­land, said parts of the re­gion could ex­pect snow to con­tinue fall­ing into Sun­day evening.

“At this point, it is just go­ing to head out to sea once it ex­its here this evening,” Chenard said.

Most pub­lic school sys­tems in north­ern Vir­ginia and Prince Ge­orge's County schools in sub­ur­ban Mary­land said classes would be can­celled Mon­day.

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