Millions without power

By WND Staff

WASHINGTON – A severe winter storm dumped heavy snowfall on big cities and suburbs along the East Coast, snarling traffic, closing government offices and schools, and knocking out power to millions of Americans.

Up to 8 inches of snow fell in the mountains of western Virginia. The Blue Ridge Parkway was shut down in North Carolina as a foot of snow piled up in some areas. More than 7 inches had fallen by midday yesterday in New Jersey. Up to 10 inches were predicted for the nation’s capital.

In the Carolinas, ice and snow snapped tree limbs and sent them crashing onto power lines. Duke Power said about 1.2 million homes and businesses were blacked out in North and South Carolina, far surpassing the record number affected by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The utility told the Associated Press it could be days before service is restored.

Carolina Power & Light reported nearly 470,000 customers without service in North Carolina.

Virginia and West Virginia also encountered outages.

Twenty-two deaths have been blamed on the severe weather, including a Virginia woman who police said froze to death after her car slid off the road and got stuck in a driveway reports AP.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported delays of several hours for major airports in Washington and New York. Some arrivals at LaGuardia Airport were delayed by 16 hours. Flights scheduled for Philadelphia International Airport suffered delays averaging two-and-a-half hours.

Schools closed in parts of the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky.

In its early stages, the storm wreaked havoc from the Oklahoma Panhandle to the mountains of Virginia and Tennessee with unusually heavy ice, freezing rain and snow.

The Nor’easter was caused by a collision of moist air flowing out of the Gulf of Mexico and frigid air pushing down from the north.

Not everyone was dismayed by the weather: “This just seems like the way New York should be, you know?” Big Apple visitor Jennifer McDaniel of Detroit told AP. “The snow and the lights and decorations – it just seems right.”

For more details on the storms, check AccuWeather.