- Nearly 300,000 customers were without power Friday night, from Tennessee to Ohio and the Northeast.
- Freezing temperatures are also expected for much of this weekend, with the coldest day being Saturday.
- A tornado in Alabama triggered by the winter storm killed at least one person.
A major winter storm that has already wreaked havoc across the United States with snow and ice was expected to make its final push into the northeast on Friday, bringing more dangerous conditions and cold weather.
“Heavy accumulations of treacherous snow and ice” are expected in the Northeast, the National Weather Service said, after the storm dumped more than a foot of snow across many parts of the Midwest on Wednesday and Thursday. From New England to West Tennessee, the ice accumulation stretched for more than 1,000 miles, downing power lines and making roads slippery.
Nearly 110,000 Tennessee customers were without power Friday night, plus about 150,000 Ohio customers across the Northeast, according to online tracker Poweroutage.us. More than 5,100 flights in the United States had been canceled as of 7:45 p.m. EST Friday after thousands were cut earlier this week, according to Flightaware.com.
Flights were halted Friday at major hubs in the United States, including airports in New York, Boston and Dallas.
In its wake, the storm is expected to bring freezing temperatures over the weekend, and the weather service had previously issued wind chill and hard freeze advisories in Texas. “Take action now to protect not only plumbing, but also people and pets from the extremely cold temperatures expected,” the Dallas Weather Service said.
In Oklahoma, police were investigating the hit-and-run death of a 12-year-old boy who was sledding when he was hit by a vehicle.
The storm also spawned a deadly tornado in Alabama, where at least one person in Hale County was killed and three others injured.
Adam Douty, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, said snow, ice and even tornadoes are not unusual for this time of year. Although there was a large amount of icing in Tennessee and Arkansas, 8 to 12 inches of snowfall for much of the Midwest is not uncommon, Douty said.
“It’s a good snowstorm…but not unusual,” he said.
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After the storm dropped heavy snowfall in the region on Thursday, several more inches of snow were expected Friday evening in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, bringing the total to 18 inches in some areas .
New York Governor Kathy Hochul warned residents to stay home if possible to avoid ice-covered roads and the threat of falling tree limbs in the Hudson Valley and capital areas.
“We are not out of the danger zone yet,” Hochul said. “The weather is extremely unpredictable.”
In the space of about 24 hours, 7.1 inches of snow fell at Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport at 1 a.m. Friday. A spotter reported 7.6 inches of snow in Fairport, New York, as of 3 a.m., and 10.5 inches of snow near Rochester.
Burlington, Vermont saw 6.5 inches of snow Thursday, AccuWeather reported. Another 1 to 4 inches in the area was expected on Friday, the local weather service office said.
Meanwhile, a frigid winter mix could bring dangerous travel conditions to the mid-Atlantic and around the I-95 corridor from New York to Boston, the weather service said.
Massachusetts State Police have responded to more than 200 crashes with property damage or injury, including one fatality, as of Thursday night, officials said. New Hampshire State Police reported at least 70 crashes Friday morning.
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Snow Emergencies, Closures and Power Outages in the Midwest, South
The heavy snow prompted a slew of local emergency snow warnings and school closures in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee.
Tennessee was the state hardest hit by the power outages, particularly in Memphis and surrounding Shelby County.
“It’s not going to be restored quickly,” said Memphis, Light, Gas and Water spokesman Gale Jones Carson. “We hope by Sunday things will be better.”
Memphis resident Michael LaRosa described creaking and thumping as tree branches fell, and the hum and thud of transformers blowing through his tree-lined Midtown neighborhood. A fire broke out at the end of his street, caused by a live wire on Thursday.
“It was pretty surreal for a little while,” LaRosa, a Rhodes College professor and book editor, said Friday. “There were people walking in the streets and I was afraid limbs would fall on them. The neighborhood kind of fell apart quite quickly and quite dramatically.
Ice and snow were still falling in Ohio, including Cincinnati and Columbus.
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Light snow is expected to continue for an additional 1 inch accumulation, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio. Temperatures in the low to mid-20s were expected on Friday with single-digit wind chills in the morning and evening.
Meanwhile, with rainfall from the storm nearly over in Indiana, cold temperatures were expected Friday through the weekend. Saturday morning will see the coldest conditions of the weekend, meteorologists said, with the temperature hovering around 0 degrees and a wind chill reading of minus 10 degrees.
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“Freezing” temperatures in the heart of the country; hard frost in texas
The National Weather Service said “freezing temperatures” could also be expected in the Rockies and across the heartland on Friday.
In Dallas, the weather service issued a “hard freeze warning,” notifying residents that unprotected pipes were in danger. Temperatures in the area were between 20 and 30 degrees, but wind chills between minus 5 and 5 degrees were expected overnight. Northwest Oklahoma could see wind chills as low as minus 15 degrees.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 17 counties on Thursday, describing the ice storm as “an imminent threat of severe property damage, personal injury or loss of life.”
Contributor: Victoria E. Freile, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle; Samuel Hardiman, commercial call from Memphis; Indianapolis star Sarah Nelson; Krista Johnson, Louisville Mail Journal; Cheryl Vari, Emily DeLetter and Quinlan Bentley, Cincinnati Enquirer; The Associated Press