Dangerous Winter Storm Sweeps Southeastern US – NBC 7 Houston

ATLANTA — A dangerous winter storm combining high winds and ice threatens more than 80 million people in parts of the southeastern United States on Sunday, knocking out power, toppling trees and fences and coating roads with a treacherous icy glaze.

A total of 230,000 customers were without power in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas, according to PowerOutage, which tracks outages across the country.

More than an inch of snow fell per hour in parts of the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.

CANCELLATION OF FLIGHTS DUE TO BAD WEATHER

The storm was making air travel extremely difficult in parts of the South. The nation’s hardest-hit airport, Charlotte Douglas International, remained open until dawn Sunday, the airport said in a weather report.

But more than 1,000 Sunday flights have been canceled at Charlotte, more than 80% of the airport’s Sunday hours, according to flight-tracking service Flightaware.com. Charlotte is a major hub in the South for American Airlines.

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In Atlanta, where Delta Air Lines operates its main hub, more than 300 Sunday flights were canceled.

Conditions were expected to deteriorate further later Sunday, and ground stops at Washington, DC-area airports were possible, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in its air traffic control plan for the Sunday.

TORNADO STRIKES SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado hit Southwest Florida, with local media reporting some damage of unknown severity. The Florida Highway Patrol reported that a large tornado crossed Interstate 75 near Naples, causing a truck to overturn. Minor injuries were reported. Florida Power and Light reported that about 16,000 customers in Southwest Florida were without power.

After hitting the south, forecasters say the northeast can expect similar conditions.

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WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE CAROLINAS AND THE REST OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

Parts of North Carolina were under a winter storm watch as of Monday morning. Raleigh was experiencing a mix of freezing precipitation.

Frank Pereira, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS), said he expected a “significant ice storm in parts of the central Carolinas,” including the Charlotte metro area.

In the Asheville area, local television footage showed an accumulation of snow covering the streets in white. Buncombe County closed all parks, libraries and solid waste facilities through Monday. In Boone, to the northeast, Appalachian State University suspended many operations Sunday and told everyone except certain essential workers to stay away from campus until at least Monday morning.

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Crews previously treated highways in Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia, but officials still urged people to stay away from them unless travel was necessary. The Tennessee Highway Patrol said in a tweet that some roads in eastern Tennessee were covered in snow and troopers were working several accidents due to ice.

In Greenville, South Carolina, unusual snowfall blanketed roads before turning to ice. Much of the state was under a winter storm warning, with winds up to 40 mph (64 kph).

WEATHER FORECAST IN NEW YORK

While New York City was expected to be spared most, if not all, of the snowfall from the winter storm, coastal areas of Long Island and Connecticut were expecting strong winds and gales, and the north of the New York state would be hit with up to a foot of snow to accompany high winds.

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The National Weather Service forecast winds of up to 60 mph on Long Island and widespread coastal flooding there and in Connecticut for Monday morning.

In upstate New York, single-digit temperatures are forecast to rise into the 20s and bring heavy snow beginning Sunday night through Monday night.

FORECAST IN PENNSYLVANIA AND OHIO

Six to 12 inches of snow was expected in parts of east-central Ohio and western Pennsylvania as of Sunday afternoon, resulting in slippery and dangerous road conditions.

In parts of eastern Pennsylvania, forecasters expected three to five inches of snow to change early to a wintry mix that includes sleet and freezing rain or outright rain.

Motorists were stranded this Tuesday morning for more than 15 hours on Interstate 95 in Stafford County, Virginia, after the closure of the highway as a result of multiple vehicle accidents and an intense snow storm that left the roads covered with ice.

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