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Major winter storm brings more ‘treacherous’ ice and frigid temperatures across US

Ryan W. Miller



A major winter storm that has already wreaked havoc across the United States with snow and ice was set to make its final push through the Northeast on Friday, bringing more dangerous conditions and cold weather.

“Heavy snow and treacherous ice accumulations” are expected around the Northeast, the National Weather Service said, after the storm left more than a foot of snow in many areas in the Midwest on Wednesday and Thursday. From New England to west of Tennessee, ice accumulation stretched more than 1,000 miles, downing powerlines and making roads slippery. 

More than 300,000 customers were without power in a large swath from Texas to New York on Friday morning, according to online tracker Poweroutage.us, and more than 2,700 flights in the U.S. were already canceled Friday after thousands were canceled earlier this week, according to Flightaware.com.

In its wake, the storm is expected to bring frigid temperatures this weekend, and the Weather Service had already issued wind chill and hard freeze advisories in Texas. 

The storm also spawned a deadly tornado to Alabama, where at least one person in Hale County was killed and three others injured. In warmer areas of the storm, heavy rains and some flooding were also a concern.

Adam Douty, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, said the snow, ice and even the tornado aren’t out of the ordinary for this time of year. While there was a large amount of icing in Tennessee and Arkansas, 8 to 12 inches of snow for much of the Midwest isn’t uncommon, Douty said. 

“It’s a good snow storm … but it’s nothing unusual,” he said.

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Ice, snow to blanket New England; wintry mix affects I-95 commute

After the storm dropped heavy snow around the region Thursday, several more inches of snow were expected Friday in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, bringing totals up to 18 inches in some areas.

In western New York, another 2 to 4 inches was likely, and ice glazing and sleet were expected in warmer areas further south.

In a roughly 24-hour span, 7.1 inches of snow fell at the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport as of 1 a.m. Friday. A spotter reported 7.6 inches of snow in Fairport, New York, as of 3 a.m., and 10.5 inches of snow near Rochester.

Burlington, Vermont, saw 6.5 inches of snow Thursday, AccuWeather reported. An additional 1 to 4 inches in the area was forecast Friday, the local Weather Service office said.

Meanwhile, an icy wintry mix could bring dangerous travel conditions to the Mid-Atlantic and around the I-95 corridor from New York City to Boston, the Weather Service said, warning that “dangerous and icy travel conditions are of concern for this morning’s commute.”

Throughout the Northeast, cold temperatures are expected to hit late Friday into Saturday, with Saturday being the coldest day of the weekend, Douty said. “New York City is going to struggle to hit 30,” he added.

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Tornado kills 1 in Alabama

A tornado near Sawyerville, Alabama, less than 40 miles south of Tuscaloosa in Hale County, killed at least one woman who was found under rubble Thursday afternoon. Three others were injured and several homes in the area were damaged.

Akron resident Tiffany Thomas traveled to Sawyerville to help relatives affected by the storm. “Everybody’s OK, thank God,” she said of her family. “No one was injured, just a lot of damage.”

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