Winter Storm Brings Christmas Eve ‘Journey Nightmare’

A nasty winter storm slammed the jap United States on Christmas Eve, pushing drivers off the roads and threatening to spoil the plans of vacation vacationers and last-minute customers in a season already dampened by the coronavirus.

The snow and rain prolonged from Atlanta to Buffalo on Thursday. Forecasters issued warnings about an array of attainable hazards — heavy snow, flooding, even tornadoes — from Tennessee to Maine.

The storm has already proven its ferocity, blanketing the Midwest on Wednesday and bringing more than eight inches of snow to Minneapolis. Blizzard circumstances delayed a whole lot of flights and turned roads into harmful white sheets.

In Nebraska, police responded to greater than 250 crashes or requires assist, together with one with tragic outcomes: a person, girl and baby have been killed when their automobile skidded over a median alongside Interstate 80 and into an oncoming semi truck; two different kids within the automobile have been additionally injured.

Different locations are anticipated to be pummeled Thursday by a treacherous mixture of rain and snow. Forecasters mentioned components of West Virginia may get greater than an inch of rain in the course of the day after which as much as half a foot of snow within the night.

“Mix that, and it’s type of a journey nightmare,” mentioned James Zvolensky, a meteorologist with the Nationwide Climate Service in Charleston, W.Va. “Issues can get slippery fairly fast.”

Gusts of as much as 65 miles per hour have been anticipated to whip by means of New York Metropolis from late Thursday into Christmas morning, together with heavy rain, probably knocking over timber and energy strains. “Widespread energy outages are anticipated,” the Nationwide Climate Service warned.

Throughout a pandemic vacation season during which well being consultants have pleaded with the general public to not journey, the brutal climate could possibly be another reason to remain house for Christmas. Even earlier than midday on Thursday, scores of flights in the USA had been canceled.

Final weekend, regardless of the warnings, more than a million travelers a day handed by means of airport safety, about half as many as final yr.

Within the South, temperatures dropped unusually low on Thursday, and a few cities like Knoxville, Tenn., have been making ready for his or her first vital Christmas snowfall in a decade. In Florida, temperatures are anticipated to plummet by greater than 30 levels as rain and wind strikes into the state.

Tornadoes have been also possible in Florida, Virginia and the Carolinas, forecasters mentioned.

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