Saturday, January 4, 2014
A snowstorm dumped up to a foot of snow in the Midwest before moving over the Northeast, blanketing the region and unloading nearly 2 feet of snow north of Boston. Freezing temperatures with below-zero wind chills in some places complicated life for residents from Minnesota to Maine. At least 15 deaths, most in traffic accidents, were blamed on the weather. More cold blasts were in the forecast for the weekend and Monday.
More than 200 accidents were reported in Connecticut, where the winter storm could bring record-breaking frigid temperatures. State police reported 224 accidents by Friday morning. In Torrington, state police said a 22-year-old Litchfield man was fatally injured when his SUV slid across a snowy road and struck a boom truck. Much of the state received 4 to 8 inches of snow. The National Weather Service said the bitter cold will continue.
State and county government offices and public schools closed Friday after the storm dumped 2 to 7 inches of snow around the state. Winter storm warnings were in effect statewide. Transportation officials warned that roads were not clear and they asked people to stay home if possible.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Many schools closed after the storm blew through Washington and surrounding areas overnight Thursday, leaving at least 2 inches of snow. Offices of the federal government and the District of Columbia were open Friday, but workers were given the option to take leave or work from home.
Warming centers were opening across Illinois on Friday. The governor urged residents to use them. Nearly 17 inches of snow fell Thursday in some of Chicago's northern suburbs, and more than 12 inches of snow was recorded at Midway International Airport. The weather was blamed for two deaths, including a man who died in southern Illinois after having a heart attack while clearing snow. The National Weather Service said Chicago-area wind chills Monday and Tuesday could sink to 45 below zero.
Two deaths were blamed on the weather. Indianapolis' mayor urged residents to stock up on supplies in advance of more heavy snows and sub-zero readings. Ball State University decided to open its residence halls a day earlier for students returning from winter break, and the governor said the opening of state government offices Monday would be delayed. A low of 10 below zero in Fort Wayne on Friday morning was a record for that city for that date, the weather service said.
Slicks roads caused dozens of wrecks, and weather-related accidents were blamed for two deaths.
Maine was spared the brunt of the snow, but residents suffered from sub-zero temperatures with wind chills making it feel like 35 degrees below zero in some places. Forecasters said it could reach 30 degrees below or colder in some western Maine valleys Friday night, while central and southern Maine will see it dip between minus-10 and minus-15 before gradually warming up into the 20s by Saturday afternoon.
The National Weather Service says the storm dropped up to 7 inches of snow north of Baltimore on Friday. Maryland's State Highway Administration urged "extreme caution" for motorists because plummeting temperatures can quickly turn wet spots into icy roads. State officials restricted traffic on several bridges, including the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, after reports of sustained winds exceeding 50 mph Friday morning.
Massachusetts residents woke up to nearly 2 feet of snow in some areas and wind chills well below zero. The National Weather Service said the temperature in Boston was 2 degrees Friday morning but felt like 20-below. Boston had more than 13 inches of snow, with higher amounts north of the city, including 23.8 inches in Boxford.
Temperatures were in the single-digits across much of Michigan on Friday and dipped below zero in some areas. The National Weather Service said the Tuesday-through-Thursday storm left 11.6 inches of snow in Wyandotte and 11.1 inches in Romulus, both in Metro Detroit. The weather was blamed for one death. More snow is expected late Saturday and Sunday. And colder weather is forecast for Monday.
Minnesota's governor called off all public school classes Monday because of another cold blast in the forecast, and the Minnesota Zoo also will be closed to the public Monday. All St. Paul parks and recreation programming — both indoor and outdoor — were canceled for Sunday and Monday.
As the storm moved through, New Hampshire remained in a deep freeze, with temperatures in the single digits to below zero and wind chill readings ranging from 15-below zero to 35-below. Snow accumulations ranged from about 7 through 11 inches. Most flights Friday morning were canceled at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, and numerous schools remained closed for a second day.
New Jersey schools, government offices and businesses closed Friday after more than 10 inches of snow accumulated in some places and bitterly cold temperatures blew into the state. A New Jersey Transit bus slid backward down an icy hill in Paterson and crashed into a carpet store. The driver, the only person on the bus, had minor injuries. More than one-fourth of Friday's outgoing flights at Newark Liberty Airport were canceled.
New York City officials urged the homeless to find shelter as single-digit temperatures followed the storm. The city recorded between 6 and 11 inches of snow. Flights out of Kennedy Airport were suspended earlier Friday because of zero visibility and high winds. Authorities said a woman with Alzheimer's disease froze to death after wandering away from her rural western New York home. Two other deaths were also blamed on the weather. Parts of upstate New York were under either a wind chill warning or advisory into Saturday morning.
Three Appalachian Trail hikers who were stranded overnight in the snow without shelter were found and taken to a hospital on Friday. The three, from South Carolina, were weak and could not walk when they were located about 5 miles north of Fontana Dam on the trail in North Carolina, officials said. The men set out on Thursday for a 10-day backpacking trip. They used their cellphones to call for help Thursday night. Wind chills were near 20 degrees below zero and snow drifts were up to 2 feet high.
Ohio got some of the coldest temperatures in the state in years Friday, with more snow and colder weather expected during the next few days. Temperatures in some areas were in single digits to start the day Friday, with wind chills below zero. Authorities say at least two people were killed in weather-related crashes in northeast Ohio on Thursday as the storm dumped 8-10 inches of snow around Cleveland and Toledo.
Residents of Toronto, where the temperature hit minus-7, heard loud booms generated by underground water freezing and expanding overnight Thursday. Toronto's airports — Pearson International and Billy Bishop Airport — canceled dozens of flights to and from the U.S. and Nova Scotia.
Between 2 and 8 inches of snow was scattered across Pennsylvania on Friday morning. Most school districts were closed in eastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia and Allentown schools. Pittsburgh's mayor-elect moved his Monday inauguration ceremony indoors because of temperatures forecast between the teens and minus-10. Authorities said a worker at a suburban Philadelphia road salt storage facility died Thursday when a 100-foot-tall pile of salt fell and crushed him on a backhoe.
The National Weather Service says temperatures were in the single digits around Rhode Island on Friday morning. The wind chill at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick fell to minus-20 overnight. Across the state, communities opened warming centers at libraries, senior centers and other buildings. Most schools were closed. Forecasters said snow totals were expected to be between 6 and 10 inches.
The snow was a boon to skiiers and snowmobilers in Vermont. More than a foot of snow fell in parts of southern Vermont, and the heavy snowfall — 15 inches in Dover — made for ideal conditions at Mount Snow ski area. Burlington recorded 8 degrees below zero Friday morning, with a wind chill of 29 below.
The National Weather Service says the temperature dropped to 7 degrees in Beckley on Friday morning. High temperatures in the teens were forecast for many areas, with the wind chill as low as 15 to 20 degrees below zero in the morning. There were reports of several traffic accidents on roads covered with ice and snow. Some areas in the eastern part of the state had up to 6 inches of snow. Many schools were closed or opening late.
A man found on a sidewalk outside his Milwaukee home Friday died of hypothermia resulting from bitterly cold temperatures that were expected to plunge even further over the weekend, officials said. The man's core body temperature was 45 degrees, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office. His death was ruled accidental. Milwaukee officials planned to close non-essential services Monday because of expected dangerously cold temperatures.