Storm pun­ishes swath of U.S. with snow, ice

The Mercury News - - News - 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, can­celed 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. 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 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, and nearly 1,000 state trans­porta­tion work­ers were called out to clear ice and snow.

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