More snow, more frustrations as powerful storm pushes on
POSTED: Friday, December 28, 2012 - 4:15am
UPDATED: Friday, December 28, 2012 - 12:16pm
A powerful winter storm that whipped its way across the United States this week still had more to give early Friday.
Portions of northern Maine face up to 13 more inches of snow, the National Weather Service said.
While the Northeast is used to dealing with heavy snow in late December, some parts of the country have not seen this kind of weather in decades. Canadians braced for a whiteout, too.
"If you are in Atlantic Canada ... you are just getting going. If you are in New York City the cold air is coming down the Hudson (River)," CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.
"If you are off to the east, you're still going to get snow in Maine on up into New Brunswick. And that snow could be heavy at times. We're talking about another foot in some spots."
Since it swept across the country this week, storm-related incidents have killed 10 people, including two children in Arkansas and an 81-year-old Alabama man. He died Thursday of injuries suffered when a tree fell on his house in Georgiana.
As the storm wraps up its weeklong run across the county, total snow accumulations of up to 2 feet are possible in central Maine, leading to hazardous roads, forecasters said.
"Strong winds will cause blowing snow to create potentially even taller snowdrifts," CNN meteorologist Bonnie Schneider said. "Travelers across New England need to pay close attention to changing weather conditions and low visibility."
Snowfall totals of a foot or more were common throughout the region -- 21 inches fell in Woodford, Vermont, 17.4 inches in Addison, New York, and 15 inches in Ashfield, Massachusetts.
Caleb Clark, a CNN iReporter in Brattleboro in southern Vermont, called it a 'classic snowstorm.' "
"(It is) a nice and fluffy New England snow, not too dangerous and you could walk around without mittens," he said.
The storm left thousands of passengers stranded after flight cancellations.
On Thursday, more than 1,200 flights were scrubbed, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.com. The site, which doesn't distinguish between flights canceled for weather and those called off because of mechanical reasons.
Early Friday, fewer than 140 flights had been canceled.
Greyhound nixed six routes in the Northeast because of Thursday's snow.
Here's the damage that the winter storm has brought so far:
The storm triggered multivehicle pileups and other traffic nightmares across in the Midwest.
Even drivers in the Northeast had a tough time navigating the icy conditions. Jim DeMarino said a normally four-hour drive from Pittsburgh to northern Virginia took eight hours.
DeMarino, who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, submitted photos of what he called a "tricky drive" along highways that were "scattered with abandoned, crashed and disabled vehicles."
Dozens of tornadoes
The same weather system that dumped heavy snow in the Midwest and Northeast spawned as many as 30 tornadoes on Christmas -- some with wind speeds of over 100 mph -- across the Southeast.
Several of Tuesday's powerful twisters struck Alabama. In Mobile County, David Saraceno spotted something ominous as he sped down Interstate 165 on Tuesday. He was traveling with his wife and 1-year-old daughter to visit family when he saw a tornado on the side of the road. His wife videotaped it.
"It looked like it was about two miles away from us," Saraceno said. "I put the pedal to the floor to try and get out of harm's way, but it seemed to be getting closer and closer."
Panicked, Saraceno got off the interstate near the town of Chickasaw, drove in a different direction and turned around to go home.
Winter wonderland in Dallas
For others, the winter storm system brought a rare white Christmas.
In Dallas, some residents had to change from short sleeves to winter coats Tuesday, as temperatures plummeted from the 60s to the low 20s in one day.
"We knew it was going to be a white Christmas in Dallas this year as per the weather advisory, but were not aware it will turn out to be so beautiful and freezing cold," Shail Bhatt said.
It's not often that Dallas gets more snow than Chicago, but that's what happened this week.