Second snow slam waiting in wings for East
January 26, 2000
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fierce winds follow snowstorm into Northeast
ncDOTnet -- North Carolina Department of Transportation
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.