Washington, Feb 14: The winter storm moving up from the US southern states has brought heavy snow and freezing sleet to the Northeast Thursday, closing up federal agencies, schools and airports while leaving half a million people without electricity.
“The same storm that brought heavy snow and significant ice accumulations to the Southeast earlier this week has moved up the east coast, bringing with it significant winter weather to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Thursday and Friday,” Xinhua quoted National Weather Service as saying.
Forecasters said this winter storm could be the biggest of the season to many areas alongside its route.
Areas around the country’s capital have braced for a dangerous combination of heavy snow, sleet and wind overnight, receiving about 28 cm of snow as of Thursday morning.
Although the snowfall tapered off, all runways of the Reagan National Airport in the capital area were closed due to accumulated snowfall. Only one runway of the Dulles International Airport in the area was open to aircraft arrivals and departures.
The winter storm caused significant flight cancellation nationwide Thursday. As of 3 p.m., 6,300 flights within, into or out of the US were cancelled, according data released by Flightaware.com
The snow and ice made travel difficult for commuters in Washington as the local government urged residents to stay inside and off the hazardous roads. The federal government instructed all non-emergency workers to stay at home Thursday and schools were also closed. Highways appeared to be virtually empty in the morning commute.
The nasty storm also knocked out power to over half a million residents across 14 states from southeast to northeast, including Georgia and Virginia.