Millions take shelter as heavy snow storm hits eastern US

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It warned that a swath from the upper Ohio Valley north to the lower Great Lakes region could expect more than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow….reports Asian Lite News

A major winter storm hit the eastern United States with heavy snow and ice knocking power out for an estimated 190,000 customers as of early Monday, media reported.

The storm was bringing a miserable combination of heavy snow, freezing rain and high winds, impacting the southeast and coastal mid-Atlantic before moving up to New England and southern Canada, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

It warned that a swath from the upper Ohio Valley north to the lower Great Lakes region could expect more than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow.

Media reports quoted NWS: “Heavy snow and ice accumulations are likely to produce hazardous travel, downed trees, and power outages through Monday for portions of the eastern US.”

In all, more than 80 million people fell under the winter weather alerts, US media reported.

About 190,000 customers were without power early Monday, according to the website PowerOutage.US.

The storm spawned damaging tornadoes in Florida and flooding in coastal areas, while in the Carolinas and up through the Appalachians icy conditions and blustery winds raised concerns.

Transport was seriously disrupted, with thousands of flights canceled, and a portion of busy interstate highway I-95 closed in North Carolina.

More than 3,000 flights within, into or out of the United States were canceled Sunday.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina was the worst-affected with 1,200 flights, or more than 90 percent of its scheduled services, canceled, according to the FlightAware website. A further 1,200 flights nationwide had been canceled early Monday.

The storm struck the Appalachians in a fast and furious nature, leaving many areas buried under more than a foot of immobilising snow.

The commercial weather forecasting services provider AccuWeather predicted that even for major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor of the Northeast, a quick dose of snow followed by heavy rain and strong winds could pose travel problems.

After dumping heavy snow on parts of the Plains and Midwest, the storm system hit Tennessee Valley and the Southeast with snow and a dangerous ice storm on the weekend.

Then, the storm made an unusual U-curve turn and race north-northeastward up the Atlantic Seaboard from Sunday evening to Monday, with the heaviest snow along the spine of the Appalachians.

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