December 26, 2010 by USA Post
Philadelphia Airport, (AP) – A band of icy cold winds to the East Coast Sunday threatened to bring blizzards and a foot of snow in New York and New England, while several southern states have made declarations of emergency as the storm caused crashes on slick roads.
Airlines grounded hundreds of flights Sunday along the northeast corridor in anticipation of the storm, affecting major airports, including JFK and Newark in New York. Airlines said more cancellations were likely as the storm progressed. Travel misery began a day earlier in some southern regions, where a rare white Christmas has come with reports of dozens of car accidents.
Transportation officials in Washington roads pretreated and prepared than 200 salt trucks, plows and other equipment to fight against the 6 inches or more expected to decline in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The North is expected to get the brunt of the storm. Forecasters issued a blizzard warning for New York Sunday and Monday with a forecast of 11 to 16 centimeters of snow and strong winds that will reduce visibility to near zero at times. A blizzard warning was also in effect for Rhode Island and most of eastern Massachusetts including Boston, with forecasters predicting 15 to 20 inches of snow from Sunday 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. A blizzard warning is issued when the snow is accompanied by sustained winds or gusts over 35 mph.
As much as 18 inches could fall on the shore of New Jersey, with gusts over 40 mph. A blizzard warning was also in effect for Rhode Island and most of eastern Massachusetts including Boston, with forecasters predicting 15 to 20 inches of snow from Sunday 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. Monday.
Baltimore and Washington were to get 6 or more inches of snow, with surrounding areas that will experience the largest number of 9, the weather service.
By Sunday morning, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency.
“Winds gusting to 45 mph will cause blowing snow and that will cause the worst,” said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell the Weather Channel on Saturday night. “We urge extreme caution in travel. Try to go early and if you do not have to travel do not go.”
Major airlines have been canceling flights in the path of the storm Sunday. Continental Airlines canceled 250 departures from Newark Liberty International Airport outside New York City. United Airlines canceled dozens of departures on Sundays from Newark, Philadelphia, New York LaGuardia and JFK, Boston and other airports. AirTran and Southwest Airlines also canceled flights, mostly in or out of Washington Dulles, Baltimore and Newark.
Most carriers have been the abolition of fees for time change in the affected areas and urging passengers to make changes on their websites.
The monster storm is the result of a low pressure system, which will develop off the coast of North Carolina on Sunday morning and strengthen into a storm as it moves northeast, according to the National Weather Service .
Delaware and Philadelphia is preparing for up to a foot of snow expected to fall from Sunday until Monday, and authorities urged people to avoid traveling if possible.
Sunday morning, winter storm warnings extending from Georgia to New England.
White Christmas in the South was one for the record books. Columbia, SC, held its first Christmas snow significantly since meteorological records were first kept in 1887. Atlanta was a little over an inch of snow – the first measurable accumulation on Christmas Day since 1880.
North Carolina Highway Patrol said Saturday night that most roads in and around Asheville have been covered or partially covered with snow and ice. Emergency management spokeswoman Julia Jarema said soldiers in the two counties west dozen 350 calls answered in 18 hours on Saturday. Most were wrecks.
Lance Cpl. Bill Rhyne, spokeswoman for the patrol of the South Carolina Highway, said Saturday night that the snow began to cover the roads, but there were fewer accidents than there would be a normal night.
“Everyone at home,” he said. “It’s Christmas. They are heeding the warnings and stay off roads.”
However, transportation officials in the state had deployed more than 200 plows, salt trucks and other equipment.
In Nashville, some travelers who are planning a trip to a sweet Christmas surprises.
“We hoped that this would be a good day to travel,” said Heather Bansmer, 36, of Bellingham, Washington
She and her husband, Shawn Breeding, 40, had planned to go home on separate flights after a visit to the family of reproduction in Bowling Green, Ky. But flight reproduction thanks to Atlanta was canceled.
The couple was expecting to spend much of Christmas Day in different airports.
“A white Christmas is not so welcoming,” said Breeding, the couple stood in the lobby of the Nashville airport with their luggage in a cart.
In Pensacola, Florida, Jena Passuti faces a dilemma. The magazine editor, 36, was driving with her husband and two children in Fairfax, Virginia to visit relatives. Saturday afternoon, she worried about how to return home amid the snow.
“Should we leave on Christmas Eve? My children are travelers normally, but if it will take us twice as long, it will be hell,” she said. “Like a white Christmas just like everyone else but I do not want to drive.”
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Kristin M. Hall in Nashville, Page Ivey in Columbia, Karen Hawkins in Chicago and Verena Dobnik Warren Levinson in New York, David Goodman in Detroit, Eileen Sullivan in Washington and Samantha Bomkamp; Michelle Price in Phoenix; Dylan Lovan in Louisville; Pallat Leonard and Greg Bluestein in Atlanta and Mark Pratt in Boston.
Copyright © 2010 the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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