By Amir Vera and Derrick Hinds | CNN
The nation’s capital and surrounding areas received a record snowfall on Monday as a powerful storm system forced its way through the eastern United States.
The federal government in Washington, DC was closed on Monday and weather-related disruptions are being felt across the country. Many schools have canceled classes and hundreds of thousands of customers are without electricity. Two children were killed when trees fell on houses.
About 8.5 inches of snow was measured in Washington, making it the heaviest daytime snowfall since January 2016 and eclipsing the daytime total in January 2019, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. Capitol Heights, Maryland, recorded 11.5 inches of snow and the Baltimore / Washington International Airport reported 6.7 inches.
Bad weather on the east coast left more than 530,000 customers without power as of Monday night, according to PowerOutage.US. Virginia by far had the most, at around 350,000.
Weather warnings are in effect on the west coast as another storm hits the Pacific Northwest.
The winter conditions, coupled with the disruptions related to Covid-19, have caused a headache for air travelers. More than 2,700 flights in the United States were canceled on Sunday. More than 2,800 flights within, to or from the United States have already been canceled, according to the FlightAware tracking service.
The Federal Aviation Administration extended the ground stop for Reagan National Airport until 5 p.m., but the FAA has since lifted the ground stop. An earlier ground stop placed at Baltimore / Washington International Airport was lifted early Monday afternoon.
Here is an overview of the latest developments:
New York City began salting the streets on Sunday evening in anticipation of 1 to 3 inches of snow during the morning commute, Mayor Eric Adams said.
Temperatures dropped into the 20’s overnight, which could lead to icing, New York’s senior deputy emergency management commissioner Christina Farrell added.
For those who travel, “go at a slower pace” and “don’t rush,” Adams said. “We are ready to weather the storm head on,” Adams said.
In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in five counties in anticipation of the storm, which is expected to bring heavy snowfall, wind gusts and coastal flooding to the southern part of the state. . In Atlantic City, 9.5 inches of snow were reported.
Southwestern New Jersey received between 1 and 4 inches of snowfall, while the southeastern part of the state received between 6 and 11 inches, Murphy said. State officials said that as of 4:30 p.m. Monday, there were just over 3,300 breakdowns in the state, but about 1,800 of those were from a car crash.
State police have reported 160 accidents and 245 requests for motorist assistance, said Col. Patrick Callahan, state police superintendent. US Highway 40 has been closed due to flooding issues, but there is no other major flooding other than this, he continued.
On the Jersey coast, winds of over 30 mph pushed the sea 2-3 feet above normal tide levels, causing flooding at high tide in Sea Isle City.
Mid Atlantic and Southeast
The Smithsonian Institution in Washington closed all 21 museums and the National Zoo due to the snowstorm.
Schools have been closed in Washington and Baltimore. Dangerous travel conditions for dangerous daily morning and evening journeys.
Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, just north of Richmond, has been stopped north and south due to tractor-trailer accidents, according to CNN affiliate WTVR-TV, which cited the Virginia Department of Transportation ( VDOT).
“VDOT has more than 50 trucks deployed along I-95 in the Fredericksburg area, and VDOT and towing crews continue to work to reach the scene of these incidents to remove trucks, clear snow from lanes. traffic and handle the road, ”the station reported.
In central Virginia, the VDOT has asked drivers to avoid the eastbound i-64 between Charlottesville and Goochland because of the large trees on the roadway, according to CNN affiliate WWBT-TV. The department says fallen trees are preventing snowplows from clearing the highway.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser urged people to avoid driving if possible.
“I cannot stress enough at this point that you have to stay home, avoid the roads, allow our teams to work and protect yourself,” she said.
The Virginia Department of Health will close all of its community vaccination centers on Tuesday due to snowfall and expected freezing temperatures overnight, according to a departmental statement to CNN.
The National Weather Service expects the snow to decrease and the entire storm system to move offshore in the early evening.
In Townsend, Tennessee, a 7-year-old child died after a tree fell on a house, CNN affiliate WVLT reported.
“There are trees all over the county, especially here in Townsend, because we’re right at the foot of Great Smoky National Park,” said Marian O’Briant, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office. Blount County. ” There are a lot of trees ; it was kind of heavy wet snow so the trees are still falling right now.
In the metro Atlanta area, a 5-year-old boy was killed when a tree fell on his DeKalb County home early Monday morning, CNN affiliate WGCL reported. Firefighters believe strong winds combined with loose soil from recent rains caused the tree to fall.
Meanwhile, parts of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee received overnight winter storm warnings, many of which extended until noon and ended in early morning. evening.
The weather service noted that, “although the ground is relatively warm due to recent warm temperatures, snow is expected to fall at high rates and accumulate even on the roads.”
The snow should clear from the west. Slippery roads and ice could persist or recover until Tuesday morning.
Parts of western Kentucky have experienced flooding as rivers continue to rise due to excessive rainfall runoff, according to the Weather Service.
“It will take several hours for all of the water from these storms to run through local drainage systems in urban areas,” the warning said. Between 2 and 4.5 inches of rain fell.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on Saturday due to heavy rains, thunderstorms, tornadoes and high winds throughout the state, all following tornadoes earlier in the week.
In the Pacific Northwest, a new system will bring heavy snow and risk of movement at higher elevations through Monday.
“A slowly moving cold front will produce 1 to 2 feet of snow for the north of the Cascades and the Olympic Mountains on Sunday before focusing on the south of the Cascades on Monday, where 2 to 4 feet are likely,” the weather service said.
The system will also bring heavy rainfall to coasts and valleys where isolated areas could be exposed to flash floods. Strong winds were also expected in the area and strong wind alerts were issued.
“These strong winds can cause significant blowing snow from the dry powder snow that is currently on the ground. This can lead to significant reductions in visibility… especially over mountain passes and open terrain, ”the weather service warned.
This reduced visibility will certainly result in some dangerous travel across the region to start the week.
Further north in Alaska, Governor Mike Dunleavy has declared a disaster emergency in parts of the state following severe winter storms, extreme winds and extreme temperatures.
Dunleavy tweeted that high winds toppled small planes, semi-trucks and damaged buildings.
“Alaskans, stay safe there, and rest assured that the state is devoting all of its resources to protecting our vulnerable communities,” Duleavy tweeted.
State soldiers warn of unsafe driving conditions and recommend traveling only if “absolutely necessary.”
The weather remains relatively calm in the Midwest, but temperatures have been extremely cold, with parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas not having seen above zero temperatures since Friday.
Forecasts point to gradual warming and a risk of snow in the middle of the week, before temperatures drop again.