Storm punishes swath of US with snow, ice and freezing rain
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 ofamilitary 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 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 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 that caused few problems
The wintry mix did, however, cause problems at airports in the region, including more than 250 flight cancellations Sunday at the three main airports serving the nation’s capital.
In Baltimore, a man was fatally shot as he shoveled snow early Sunday morning. Police said a 43-yearold man was outside shoveling at 4:40 a.m. when an unidentified suspect shot him in the head and shoulder. The victim died at a hospital.
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, but the snow was followed by hours of sleet and freezing rain.
Marc Chenard, ameteorologist 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.
Class cancellations also are planned Monday in areas of central Illinois hit by record snowfall.
Springfield’s State Journal-Register reports the state capital broke a 55year record for daily snowfall on 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.
People sled on Capitol Hill as a winter storm arrives in the mid-Atlantic on Sunday in Washington. A winter storm that contributed to at least five deaths in the Midwest pummeled the mid-Atlantic region for a second day Sunday.