Wintry mix wallops mid-atlantic
Widespread power outages reported; flights grounded
A winter storm that contributed to at least five deaths in the Midwest pummeled the midatlantic region for a second day Sunday, bringing with it an icy mix that knocked out power, canceled flights and contributed to hundreds of car accidents.
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 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 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 halfinch of ice in some sections of western North Carolina, leading to fallen trees and power lines, but other areas of the state got mostly 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 Sunday evening, impacting both inbound and outbound flights.
By late Sunday afternoon, the Washington, D.C., metro area; northern Virginia; and parts of Maryland had total snowfall accumulations ranging from five to eight inches. Central Virginia, including Richmond, had much smaller accumulations — as little as one inch — but the snow was followed by hours of sleet and freezing rain.
Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the Weather Pre diction Center in College Park, Md., 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 canceled Monday.
Class cancellations also are planned Monday in areas of central Illinois hit by record snowfall.
Springfield’s State JournalRegister reported that the state capital broke a 55year record for daily snowfall Saturday. It cited the National Weather Service as saying the 8.4 inches of snow that day in Springfield broke the previous record for a Jan. 12 in 1964 of 6.6 inches. Some 11.5 inches of snow fell on Springfield over three days.
A man clears snow off a car in Washington, D.C. By late Sunday afternoon, the D.C. metro area had snowfall accumulations ranging from five to eight inches.
Workers attempt to remove a tree after it fell on a house in Winstonsalem, N.C. An ice storm coated central North Carolina, leaving thousands without power.