Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

March 3, 2014

Winter’s last gasp? Another storm hits much of US

WASHINGTON — Winter kept its icy hold on much of the country Monday, with snow falling and temperatures dropping as schools and offices closed and people from the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast reluctantly waited out another storm indoors.

Snow began covering a thin layer of ice in the nation’s capital early Monday, driven by a blustery wind that stung the faces of those who ventured outside. Officials warned people to stay off treacherous, icy roads — a refrain that has become familiar to residents in the Midwest, East and even Deep South this year.

The latest frigid blow of the harsh winter threatened as much as 10 inches of snow by the end of the day in Washington, Baltimore and elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic region. Up to 6 inches of snow was predicted to the north in Philadelphia, where a light dusting fell early in the day, while nearly a foot of snow was expected in parts of New Jersey. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency.

Schools were canceled, bus service was halted in places and federal government workers in the Washington area were told to stay home Monday.

“We’re tired of it. We’re sick of it,” said Martin Peace, a web developer from the Washington suburb of Arlington, Va.

He and his wife were walking on the National Mall with their young daughter Sunday before the frigid weather blew in. Both bemoaned the number of snowy days this year.

“It’s been hard with a baby being stuck in the house,” said Nicole Peace, who works in human resources. “We don’t really get the day off, but then we have to work from home with the baby, which is hard.”

School systems in Baltimore, Washington and many suburban areas were closed, as were all Smithsonian museums except for the National Air and Space Museum. The U.S. Supreme Court was expected to be open and had arguments scheduled for Monday.

In northern Virginia, the Jukebox Diner in Manassas opened up at its regular 6 a.m. time, but not a single customer had come in by 8:15, waitress Irene Auiler said.

“I had to drive in to open, and the worst thing was the windshield keep freezing over. I had to stop the car. I can’t be late, though,” Auiler said.

The wintry precipitation moved across much of the nation Sunday, bringing a mix of freezing rain and heavy snow to central and eastern states. More than 2,200 flights in the United States were canceled early Monday, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.com. The bulk of the problems was at airports in Washington, New York and Philadelphia, but “flight cancellations are stacking up all the way from the DC area on up to New England,” said Daniel Baker of FlightAware.

In the South, commuters faced icy roads, though most were likely to clear up by late morning. In central Kentucky, vehicles moved slowly and quietly on roads that were mostly snow covered and slushy despite plows going through. The lines separating lanes were mostly invisible under the snow and ice, and at least a few cars had slid off the roadways.

Parts of West Virginia could get up to a foot of snow. That sent residents on a hunt for food, water and supplies as county offices closed and state offices delayed their opening.

Linda McGilton of Charleston said she tries to be prepared but she also was not concerned.

“I don’t try to panic. It doesn’t do any good,” McGilton of Charleston said as she unloaded a grocery cart outside the Kroger store Sunday.

Richmond, Va., was expected to get as many as 7 inches of snow Monday. Katilynn Allan, 22, bemoaned the city’s unpredictable weather but said she was not too worried about driving if she had to make the short commute to her job as a financial planner.

“It’s not too bad,” said Allan. “You just have to take it slow when there is ice on the road.

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