The Slatest

Winter Storm Slamming East Coast Causes Massive Power Outages, Flight Cancellations

Families take advantage of a winter storm to sled at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2022.
Families take advantage of a winter storm to sled at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2022. STEFANI REYNOLDS/Getty Images

The winter storm that hit much of the South with tornadoes, freezing rain, and snow over the weekend moved north and caused travel havoc to the holiday weekend as hundreds of thousands of people were left without power. More than 50 million people across the eastern United States were under winter weather alerts Monday amid warnings of heavy snowfalls across the Northeast. Air travel has been severely affected by the weather conditions as almost 1,400 U.S. flights were canceled as of early Monday morning. On Sunday, 3,059 U.S. flights were canceled, according to FlightAware. As of Monday morning there were more than 200,000 customers without power across 11 states, according to PowerOutage.us.

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Parts of New England, New York state, Ohio, and Pennsylvania were forecast to receive a foot of snow on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Some parts of New York state were expecting as many as 18 inches of snow, and some places were already reporting 16 inches as of early Monday. Strong winds are also raising the possibility of coastal flooding from Virginia to Maine. The fast-falling snow even managed to surprise forecasters in Buffalo. “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.”

Several bigger cities, including New York City and Boston, were spared from heavy snowfalls. “We’ve had a very strong area of low pressure that’s kind of moved up the coast, with pretty heavy snowfall accumulations from Tennessee, North Carolina all the way into the northeast,” said meteorologist Marc Chenard at the weather service’s headquarters in College Park, Maryland. “The bigger cities—New York, Boston—it’s warmed up, it’s rain there,” he said. The Southeast had experienced similar conditions on Sunday, when two people died in North Carolina when their car drove off the road.

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