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Deadly winter storm pounds East Coast



(Reuters) - A deadly and intensifying winter storm packing heavy snow, sleet and rain pelted a huge swath of the U.S. East Coast on Thursday, grounding flights and shuttering schools and government offices.

Winter storm warnings and advisories were in place from Georgia up to Maine, and the powerful system could blanket the Atlantic Coast over the next two days with 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 cms) of snow, said Jared Guyer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

"It's a very messy scenario," Guyer said. "Roads remain treacherous."

The Washington, D.C., area awoke to its heaviest snowfall of the winter. The federal government was closed, along with school districts in the area.

Washington's bus service was suspended, and residents were advised to stay home if possible rather than risk a commute through snow accumulations of as much as a foot throughout the area.

All runways at the city's Dulles and Reagan National airports were closed, as well as schools in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York.

About 4,470 domestic and international flights were canceled and another roughly 290 were delayed early on Thursday morning, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.com.

ICE STORM

The storm system, which has dumped heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain from eastern Texas to the Carolinas since Tuesday, was blamed for at least 13 deaths in the Southern region and for knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of customers.

An ice storm warning was in effect for parts of central Georgia on Thursday morning, after about one inch of ice had accumulated there and into South Carolina. Schools across the South were closed again on Thursday.

Roughly 8 inches of ice and heavy snow has now accumulated in parts of North and South Carolina, Guyer said, possibly a historic level.

"The catastrophic part is mostly the ice across the South where they're getting anywhere from a half inch to an inch of ice accumulating on power lines and trees," said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland.

Traffic on interstate highways ground to a halt on Wednesday as the snowfall picked up quickly and fatal road accidents and weather-related deaths were reported in Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

Governors declared states of emergencies from Louisiana to New Jersey.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Additional reporting by Bill Trott; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
stonoverfarm February 13 2014 at 1:17 PM

The Weather Channel says 3" to 5" for our town. The Weather Channel graphic for today on their web site says 4" to 6". The Weather Channel "winter storm warning" on the red banner at the top of the home page says 10" to 20". And they wonder why DirecTV dropped them?

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momruggi February 13 2014 at 9:47 AM

The last time we had a winter with this much consistent snow was in 1994. It snowed almost every weekend. I think people are complaining because it is happening during the week instead of the weekend. I don't remember anyone complaining about the snow in 1994 because it came on the weekend and we had fun with it. By the time the work week came, we were all shoveled out. Oh well. You can't schedule snow, lol.

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2 replies
Robert Young momruggi February 13 2014 at 10:01 AM

Depends on where you are. we had a lot of snow the winter of 2010-11 in the NYC area. In fact NYC's Central Park had 60" between dec 26th 2010, and jan 26 2011. That I believe set a record for snow depth in the park.

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Donna momruggi February 13 2014 at 10:06 AM

Those storms in 1994 were every Wednesday. I remember this because my kids had off from school all the time. I also had a baby during one of the weeday storms. I had him on a Tuesday and woila, on Wednesday it snowed again. I was stuck in the hospital with no way home and back then they wanted you out of the hospital within a day of delivering a child...I smell weather modification. Way too coincidental..

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broncofan54 February 13 2014 at 9:28 AM

stay home and build a snowman

Flag Reply +7 rate up
kostas February 13 2014 at 11:21 AM

Look I agree some people go over board when we get some bad weather.
You see them at the store buying up every thing like they are going to hunker down for the deration
We nutmegers' (CT) are not afraid of snow that is why god made snow blowers and why I got my mom a brand new shovel for her birthday . you have to be ready.

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1 reply
TaRAa L0VeSs YoU kostas February 13 2014 at 1:56 PM

and a few bottles of likker and beer

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1 reply
jodie77 TaRAa L0VeSs YoU February 14 2014 at 1:15 AM

I suspect you mean liquer lol

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wayne February 13 2014 at 10:06 AM

The people in the northern hemisphere are accustomed to this type of weather. Yes. But there comes a time when a person becomes weary. Not to mention the fight to stay warm when there is no electricity. These people have endured so much from the weather in the past couple years, and yet they still continue to push on. I for one am proud of these people for their strengths. I think they have a right to whine. And, as for the people in the south, they don't have the resources to battle these weather conditions. (I am not insulting you, just defending you) these people have a right to whine as well. We in the North have the equipment and supplies on hand to handle these conditions as long as salt supplies last. And last but not least Randy, many people, especially the elderly and disabled, can't get out there in this weather and gather supplies, and fuel to stay warm and fed. It's easy to "say" grab a shovel and a bag of salt and get busy, but for many, its not as easy to do. Shame on you, you errogant old man !! Who shovels your snow for you?

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2 replies
jodie77 wayne February 13 2014 at 10:08 AM

bravo well said. But one thing, we may have the equipment for this, but new York has had so much over abundance of snow this year, there's reports of a possible shortage of salt with winter only half over, it's a frightening thought with the way this winter has been going

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nikegrl675 wayne February 13 2014 at 10:19 AM

I live in New York and you explained our situation (possibly yours, not sure of your location) wonderfully. The South would have a had a much better outcome if they were equipped better, I feel for those people. We have had snow storms happen to us yearly (not quite as much as this year I might add) so logically we should be better prepared then states who haven't seen snow in years. I'd be extremely concerned if we were ill prepared at this stage of the game.

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A SLEEPiNG BAG

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Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
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Star February 13 2014 at 10:09 AM

In some areas of the East Coast (Philly for one), the storm will last for 30 HOURS. They got one batch of snow overnight which will turn to rain today and then this evening, another significant snowstorm. I live in coastal DE where 2-4 inches were predicted but looking out, it's just rain at this point. We may get the snow this evening like PA. Today we get 1/2 inch of rain, which is huge and flood warnings are in effect. Anyone who doesn't believe in climate change is kidding themselves.

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1 reply
TIM Star February 13 2014 at 10:17 AM

where on the coast Star? I live up the road from you in Newark. Just got up so I can't say what exactly it is doing here. It LOOKS snowy!

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gjterranov February 13 2014 at 9:04 AM

What does that old song say! "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow..."

Flag Reply +11 rate up
Len February 13 2014 at 8:55 AM

In the north we are used to the snow, but that ice, that's downright deadly. Lay low and don't try to drive.

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marianicole62 February 13 2014 at 9:34 AM

Well you have to admit Randy, it's been pretty bad this year. For example, I live in Pittsburgh. Our usual snowfall for the year is usually 25-26 inches, and we've reached the 50-inch mark this year, not to mention the ice days, which are normally 4 to 5 in February, but have now reached 9 or 10, and the dangerous below 0 temps, which we usually only get in February, and have had them both in January and February, so this has been an unusually bad year. But I agree with you, don't drive in this if you are in a region that normally doesn't get this. Here in the east, we are prepared and used to it, but the southern states aren't.

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