Winter storm moves north: Fast snowfall shocks forecasters as flights canceled, power outages continue




  • In Business
  • 2022-01-17 18:58:53Z
  • By USA TODAY
 

The winter storm that slammed much of the South with ice rolled north on Monday, bringing havoc to holiday travel plans and snow so furious even forecasters in snow-accustomed Buffalo, New York, said "Wow!"

More than 3,200 flights within, into and out of the U.S. were canceled or delayed as of noon Monday, according to flight tracker FlightAware. Sunday's weather forced similar issues for almost 8,000 flights.

More than 110,000 homes and businesses were without power in West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Several locations in Ohio and New York had already measured more than a foot of snow early Monday. And the storm was far from over.

Meanwhile on Sunday, two people died when their car drove off the road and into trees in a median east of Raleigh, North Carolina. Investigators believe the car was driving too fast for the conditions, described as mixed winter precipitation.

NEED TO SHOVEL THE DRIVEWAY OR DRIVE IN THE SNOW? How to deal with snow this winter

Snow comes fast, piles deep in New York

"WOW! Latest snow measurement at 1 AM was 4.6 inches in the last hour at the Buffalo Airport!" the National Weather Service in Buffalo tweeted. "Widespread snow/sleet to continue this morning."

Parts of New York state were expecting up to 18 inches of snow before the storm moves away sometime Tuesday. But even that sounded conservative as Lockport, in Niagara County north of Buffalo, already had 16 inches early Monday.

In the Hudson Valley, the snow was falling at up to 2 inches per hour, made worse by wind conditions and blowing snow, the Weather Service in Albany warned.

Ohio digs out as snow continues to fall

In Ohio, the city of Ashtabula, along the coast of Lake Erie, reported more than 25 inches of snow Monday. Nearby Saybrook reported 24 inches and Pierpont saw 18 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

"The snow isn't done. We aren't either," the Ohio Transportation Department tweeted Monday. "We have 1,000 plows out across the state. Roads are beginning to improve in areas where snow slacked off a couple hours ago, but it's still tough to travel in much of Ohio where snow continues to fall."

WHAT'S A STRANDED TRAVELER TO DO? What airlines owe you when flights are canceled, delayed

New England deals with wind, prepares for power outages

Sleet and rain were the main threats for much of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Periods of snowfall transitioned to rain overnight. Weather service meteorologists in Boston said wind gusts had been measured reaching 65 mph.

In Massachusetts, power crews are preparing for intense winds. Eversource, New England's largest energy delivery company, said it called on help from states such as New Jersey and Michigan as well as teams from Canada.

Strong tornadoes destroy dozens of homes in Florida

Residents across Southwest Florida were cleaning up after Sunday morning storms brought a powerful tornado to Lee County near Fort Myers. One assessment in Lee County said 30 mobile homes were destroyed and nearly 200 were damaged.

County Commission Chairman Cecil Pendergrass said more than 60 homes in the tornado's path were unlivable. At least four people were injured but no deaths have been reported.

The National Weather Service said the tornado was a category EF2 with winds up to 118 mph. It's the strongest tornado to hit Southwest Florida since 2016.

'THE WINDOWS BROKE AND THAT WAS IT': Tornadoes pummel Southwest Florida on sleepy Sunday morning

Contributing: Dan Rorabaugh, Fort Myers News-Press; The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Winter storm: Snow, power outages, tornados in East; flights canceled

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