Over 50 million people across the eastern US have been receiving winter weather alerts early Monday as a massive storm arrived in Florida and moved through to Maine, bringing tornadoes, freezing rain and snow through those regions.
Those regions can also expect heavy snowfall on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and even power outages and major road closures. In the Northeastern part of the US, that has been the case.
Furthermore, several flight cancellations occurred a day earlier across the southeastern US. Nearly 3,000 US flights were cancelled and 1,200 flights were cancelled Monday morning due to these wintry conditions.
In terms of the power outages, over 217,000 customers are without power in 11 states according to PowerOutage.US. The regions that were hit were:
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
According to the National Weather Service, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, New York can expect eight to 12 inches of snow on Monday and over a foot of heavy snow across the upper Ohio Valley through the lower Great Lakes region.
The NWS goes on to report that Monday can cause coastal flooding from Virginia to Maine as well. Buffalo could experience winds upwards of 45 mph while New York City can experience 55 mph. Maine could get gusts of up to 65 mph.
Combined with the cold and now the colder and strong winds over the Northeastern area, the below-freezing temperatures are likely to stick around until Wednesday in that area. Parts of the South and Mind-Atlantic will start to see temperatures recovering around Tuesday. At the same time though, we are in the middle of winter so it's expected to have more snow and cold coming in by the end of this week too.
Drivers Are Warned To Stay Inside Due To Slick Roads
While the biggest and worst impacts were the storm shifts, roads are still expected to be dangerous. This is especially the case in overpasses and at higher elevations.
Getting into details, the near or at freezing temperatures will ensure roads are slick in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Asheville, North Carolina, along with other areas in the north through central Ohio. Other areas that can be hit with these conditions are:
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- Roanoke, Virginia
- Charleston, West Virginia
The governors of North and South Carolina and Virginia activated members of the National Guard as well to help with any storm response. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said on Sunday when deploying 200 Guard members:
"They're equipped with emergency response vehicles that can move through the snow. As much as 8 to 12 inches of snow has fallen in some counties, and significant icing is causing trouble in the central part of the state."
This was necessary especially since North Carolina responded to over 400 crashes on Sunday. One of those crashes claimed the lives of two people, both 41 from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
South Carolina sent out 120 service members to assist with stranded motorists in their area. Virginia issued 75 service members. They assisted with the Virginia State Police, who responded to almost 1,000 traffic crashes and disabled vehicles on Sunday.
Needless to say, it's better to stay indoors until conditions improve.