Winter Storm Moves Up East Coast

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(Courtesy CNN)

ATLANTA (CNN) — The winter storm that socked the Southeast has moved up the East Coast.

The National Weather Service predicts the storm could drop a foot of snow in Boston, 2 feet on the Massachusetts coast, 7 inches in New York and 5 inches in Philadelphia by Sunday morning.

The Cape Cod area of Massachusetts looked like it would receive the heaviest blow. The weather service issued a blizzard warning for that area until 3 a.m. ET Sunday, saying “near-whiteout” conditions were possible. Winds could hit 45 mph, the weather service said.

The town of Barnstable, on the Cape, said 1-3 inches of snow could fall per hour and urged residents not to park on the main street because of snow plows.

Going back to work on Monday could be treacherous. Temperatures won’t rise above freezing until Tuesday, the weather service said.

Thousands of travelers had flights canceled up and down the East Coast because of the winter weather and the shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida.

Alexia Marramarco a French foreign exchange student on her way back to Georgia State University in Atlanta, was one of them.

First, her flight Friday from Paris to Fort Lauderdale was diverted to Miami because of the shooting. Then, after being bused to Fort Lauderdale, Marramarco learned her connecting flight to Atlanta was canceled because of weather.

“I haven’t slept,” she said Saturday.

Asked if she thought she’d get back to campus by Saturday night, she said, “Je ne sais pas.” (“I don’t know.”)

The Fort Lauderdale airport closed one of its four terminals after the shooting but reopened it for flights on Saturday afternoon.

FlightAware, an airline tracking website, listed more than 2,100 cancellations within, into or out of the United States by 6 p.m. ET Saturday. Airports in Boston and Philadelphia urged travelers to check with their carriers about their flight status.

Drivers also ran into problems.

A pileup involving as many as 20 vehicles shut down a section of Interstate 91 near Middletown, Connecticut, on Saturday afternoon, CNN affiliate WBZ reported. No serious injuries were reported.

In Virginia, one highway fatality occurred Saturday afternoon when an SUV ran off a road in Greene County, the Virginia State Police said. State police responded to 527 traffic crashes on Saturday.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers have responded to nearly 1,500 calls for service and more than 700 vehicle collisions since midnight.

North Carolina took a heavy punch Friday night, with CNN affiliate WRAL reporting that Raleigh saw about 2 inches of snow but surrounding areas, including Orange and Durham counties, got 6 inches or more.

Though snow tapered off Saturday, driving conditions will remain hazardous because of low temperatures and ice on the highways.
“Throughout Monday the weather is going to be pretty cold and whatever is on the road will still be there,” Cooper said. He said that, so far, there are no weather-related fatalities.
Cooper said 9,300 customers were without power at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday, down from 25,000 earlier in the day. Utilities expected to restore electricity to most of those them by the end of Saturday.
The weather was so bad in the Triangle area that the Saturday night basketball game between the University of North Carolina and NC State University was postponed until 1 p.m. Sunday.
Two hikers lost for more than a day in a remote section of the Shining Rock Wilderness area of western North Carolina were located late Saturday and a rescue operation was under way, CNN affiliate WLOS reported.
The two men went for a day hike Thursday and called authorities Friday morning to report they were lost and off the trail, WLOS reported. Besides teams on foot, helicopters with heat-sensitive cameras searched the area, Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference Saturday.
The storm that Atlantans were warned about Friday, sending them flocking to the grocery store, didn’t pan out for the most part.
Three to 5 inches of snow were predicted, but only a dusting of snow fell on the city, though icy conditions persisted through Saturday and conditions stayed below freezing. Wind chill was also a problem.
The storm had knocked out power to more than 10,000 customers across metro Atlanta by early Saturday, Georgia Power said.
It didn’t snow in the Sunshine State, but storms forced the cancellation of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. This was the 20th anniversary of the event, which was sold out.
Meanwhile, the West Coast is coming in for some unpleasant weather, too.
A series of storms are pounding northern California, with 15-20 inches of rain forecast over the next seven days, according to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink.
Flooding is likely in the coming days, Brink said.
Heavy rain is expected to hit the Los Angeles area by Saturday afternoon. The rain is expected also in the Las Vegas region.
Overall, 77 million people are under a winter weather advisory or warning across the southeastern United States and in the northwest, including the Sierras in northern California.

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