Win­ter storm con­tin­ues spread­ing havoc east­ward

The Columbus Dispatch - - Nation&world - By Denise Lavoie

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 life-threat­en­ing.

Vir­ginia State Po­lice said they re­sponded to more than 300 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 Pow­erou­tage.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 hard­est-hit, along with the western Pied­mont re­gion. 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.

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.

Mean­while, Illi­nois was try­ing to dig out from un­der heavy snow­fall in some ar­eas.

Spring­field’s State Jour­nal-regis­ter re­ported that the state cap­i­tal broke a 55-year record for daily snow­fall on Satur­day with 8.4 inches. Some 11.5 inches of snow fell on Spring­field over three days.

Among those killed in the Mid­west dur­ing the storm was an Illi­nois state trooper struck by a car when he re­sponded to a three-ve­hi­cle crash Satur­day in sub­ur­ban Chicago.

State Po­lice Di­rec­tor Leo Sch­mitz told re­porters that 34-year-old Christo­pher Lambert was headed home when he pulled over and got out of his squad car to re­spond to the ac­ci­dent. Sch­mitz said Lambert po­si­tioned his squad car to pro­tect the other three cars and “took on the dan­ger him­self.”

[ALEX BRAN­DON/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS]

A win­ter storm that ar­rived Sun­day in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., at least brought some en­joy­ment, al­low­ing for sled­ding on Capi­tol Hill.

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