The snow that has literally been dumped on the East Coast is officially the most massive winter storm this century. CNN reported today that a total of three deaths have occurred in Virginia, according to the state’s Department of Emergency Management:
The snowstorm prompted an emergency declaration in the nation’s capital, stranded hundreds of motorists, sparked havoc at airports, and threatened to keep hordes of Christmas shoppers indoors.
Ten to 20 inches of snow were predicted for swaths of the country’s mid-Atlantic region. Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said the storm — arriving on the last shopping weekend before Christmas — is “perhaps the biggest we’ve seen in several years.”
Indeed, this has been monstrous. Hardly a winter wonderland, Asheville, North Carolina, has been blanketed in more than a foot of snow in some locations, although accumulation stopped along with precipitation early this morning in most parts of the region. Nonetheless, hundreds of cars (or possibly more) have been reported stranded on large patches of interstate heading into the metro, with people calling into local talk radio stations reporting the fear expressed by families huddled in immobile cars for warmth. Altogether, as of 10:00 AM this morning, more than 120,000 people in the area were said to be without power.
Though the overall magnitude of the storm has been far surpassed in other parts of the country this year already, it is the surprise element that has managed to devastate much of the Easter United States. American Airlines has even canceled flights coming into and out of the Nation’s Capital, as well as Baltimore, and Philadelphia because of the storm activity. At least until the first of the week, it looks like much of the region will remain on lock-down as power companies struggle to restore electricity, and roadways are cleared of the slushy mess that has accumulated since yesterday.by