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US

Second snow slam waiting in wings for East

January 26, 2000
Web posted at: 4:02 p.m. EST (2102 GMT)

brothers
John Bunn, left, and his brother, Julian, clear snow from the parking lot of their Raleigh, North Carolina, golf shop  

In this story:

Travel nightmare

Snow gone for now, but cold isn't

Forecasters caught by surprise

North Carolina hit especially hard

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



(CNN) -- A new snowstorm is headed to the East, where freezing temperatures and strong winds complicated the chore facing millions already digging out Wednesday from a paralyzing storm that dumped nearly two feet of snow in some places as it swept up the Atlantic coast.

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 VIDEO
VideoIn North Carolina, more snow has fallen than many people have seen in a long time. CNN's Eric Horng is there. (January 26)
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VideoCNN's Eric Horng reports on a hard-hit state's slow recovery from a winter storm.
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  GALLERY:
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Nature's wrath

The new storm, which moved out of the Rockies and into the Midwest, began dropping snow in central Oklahoma before dawn Wednesday. Up to a foot of snow was possible by Thursday, and a 4-inch snowfall was possible across Arkansas later Wednesday or Thursday.

As the latest storm blows eastward, forecasters said it could bring significant snowfall to a region already under a blanket of white.

Schools and businesses in the East were closed -- in some cases for a third straight day -- while more than 180,000 utility company customers were still without power in the Southeast.

U.S. government workers in Washington were told to stay home for a second day in a row.

Travel nightmare

Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, said it would run two of three New York-to-Miami trains -- the Silver Star and the Silver Meteor.

It canceled all trains south of Washington on Tuesday and on Wednesday it scrapped service between Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, and between Washington and Charlotte.

In North Carolina, 120 travelers were stranded at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, where airlines were not expected to begin carrying passengers again until Thursday morning.

Traffic deaths on snowy and icy roads were reported from the Carolinas to New York, and two people were found dead of exposure in South Carolina.

Hundreds of motorists waited for help Wednesday along Interstate 85 in North Carolina, which was virtually shut down by jack-knifed trucks for a 20-mile stretch near the Virginia state line.

morning traffic
Morning rush-hour traffic came to a near standstill as heavy snow began falling early in Oklahoma City  

National Guardsmen and Highway Patrol officers were sent to help.

Some of the motorists, stranded in their cars since Tuesday afternoon, used their cellular phones to call broadcasters in the area. "I've been here since 2:30 and I don't understand why no one's come," one irate motorist, who identified herself only as Cheryl from San Diego, complained Wednesday.

Raleigh Mayor Paul Coble advised motorists to "please stay home because ... if you get stuck, you're just going to create a problem for the crews that are out there trying to clear the roads."

In Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the search resumed Wednesday for a 5-year-old girl missing and feared dead after she and her 9-year-old brother tumbled into the icy Housatonic River while walking to school Tuesday.

The boy was treated and released.

Snow gone for now, but cold isn't

Winds ranging from 20 mph to over 40 mph were expected over the Northeast into the Middle Atlantic states. As a result, wind chills and areas of drifting and blowing snow were forecast.

The National Weather Service said temperatures along the East Coast will remain below freezing and snow will remain on the ground with little opportunity for melting.

"We're not getting the help from Mother Nature that we really need," Coble told CNN.

woman
A Raleigh, North Carolina, woman carries her groceries through the snow  

Forecasters caught by surprise

The storm raced north along the coast Monday and Tuesday. Winter weather advisories and storm warnings remained in effect Wednesday for sections of northern New England.

Many forecasters -- and most of the public -- were not aware the bad weather was coming so quickly until late Monday, when the weather service issued a winter storm warning for the Baltimore-Washington area.

Until then, some forecasters had predicted only light snow, believing the bulk of the storm would out to sea. Instead, it hugged the Atlantic coast.

By Wednesday, up to 23 inches of snow had fallen in parts of North Carolina, with 20 inches in Maryland, 19 in Virginia, 15 near Washington and in north-central Massachusetts and 14 in southern New Jersey.

North Carolina hit especially hard

Farther south, the Carolinas were swamped by a rare blizzard and Georgia was reeling from a weekend ice storm that caused an estimated $35 million in damage.

States of emergency were declared in parts of Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland, with the National Guard called in to help clear roads and rescue motorists.

Much of North Carolina's snow removal equipment was stationed in the state's western mountains, which were spared the brunt of the storm. "Traditionally, we've had our worst snowfalls up in the mountains, so most of the National Guard Humvees are up there," said Gov. Jim Hunt.

stranded vehicle
A Virginian struggles to push a van stuck in the snow  

North Carolina has already used more ice-melting salt on roads this month than is usually used all winter.

The weather service measured 23 inches of snow in North Carolina's Montgomery County. The 20.3 inches of snow that fell near Raleigh this week were more than the area has received before in an entire month.

Nearly 127,000 power company customers remained without electricity Wednesday in North Carolina, where the town of Pinehurst had no water service because of power outages.

More than 40,000 were still blacked out in South Carolina.

In Georgia, where 17,000 utility company customers were still without power Wednesday, state officials feared sleet this weekend will snap even more power lines.

Reporters Eric Horng, Kathleen Koch and Reuters contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
Fierce winds follow snowstorm into Northeast
January 25, 2000
Icy times for the Southeastern U.S.
January 24, 2000
Sweeping ice storm hits Southeast hard
January 23, 2000
Stormy weather buffeted U.S. in 1999
January 4, 2000
Dangerous winds, temperatures freezing New England
January 20, 2000
First major winter storm blows into Northeast
January 20, 2000
No relief from cold temperatures
January 19, 2000

RELATED SITES:
ncDOTnet -- North Carolina Department of Transportation
CP&L, Electric Power plus Energy Products and Services For The Carolinas
  • Storm Response Page
Duke Energy Corporation
  • Winter Storm Advisory
Baltimore-Washington International Airport
  • Weather Conditions at BWI
Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) Airport
National Weather Service Home Page
  • National Weather Service Winter Weather Awareness
LaGuardia Airport
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
  • Inclement Weather Reporting Instructions
WRAL OnLine (Raleigh, NC)


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