Winter weather blamed for seven deaths heads northeast
The ugly winter weather already blamed for at least seven deaths as it has marched across the country was expected to make one last stand in the Northeast on Monday, bringing the first snow accumulations of the season to major cities like Philadelphia and Boston.
The National Weather Service forecast heavy snow for the Northeast and freezing rain over the region through Tuesday, especially in the northernmost areas of New England.
Boston and other coastal areas of Massachusetts were expected to get as much as 6 inches of snow, while areas farther inland could get up to 11 inches, with ice accumulations up to a tenth of an inch. The Philadelphia area could get as much as 5 inches, with up to a foot in areas of the southern Poconos and extreme northwest New Jersey.
New York City is expected to miss the worst of the storm, with about 1 to 3 inches of snow forecast through Monday night, mainly to the west of the city. But areas farther north could receive several inches, forecasters said.
While the stubborn system isn't as big as the typical midwinter storm, the snow and ice will likely be enough to put a big crimp on travel plans as families finish returning home from their Thanksgiving holidays, just as it has done in the past week as it crept west to east across the United States.
With the worst yet to come on Monday and Tuesday, Boston Logan International Airport reported that 124 arrivals and departures were canceled on Sunday, along with 119 at Newark Liberty in New Jersey, 69 at Philadelphia International and 31 at LaGuardia in New York.
At Buffalo-Niagara International Airport in New York, ice caused a Delta-owned Endeavor Air flight from LaGuardia to skid off the taxiway on arrival on Sunday morning, airport officials said.
No injuries were reported among the 72 passengers and crew, said Bill Major, the airport's fire chief. Twenty-five other arrivals and departures were canceled on Sunday as rain iced up the runways during a fast drop in temperature, Major said.
"The weather and icing is an issue for the air field," Major said. "It's one of the bigger challenges they have, because it's hard to keep up with."
Snow and ice both helped and hampered firefighters as they battled a fire at the Mid-Station Lodge at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, New York, near Burlington, Vermont, authorities said Saturday night.
No cause had immediately been determined for the fire, in which no one was injured, NBC affiliate WPTZ of Burlington reported.
Assistant Chief Cliff Holzer of the Wilmington Fire Department, told WPTZ that the location of the fire was difficult to reach. But he said crews were able to take advantage of equipment at the site, using the giant guns that help to create artificial snow for skiers to attack the fire.
Scott Christiansen, vice president of the Olympic Regional Development Authority, the state agency that manages the lodge, said the building was destroyed.
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The nasty holiday-week weather slammed the Midwest on Saturday and Sunday, burying Duluth, Minnesota, under 20 inches of snow, and has been blamed for at least six confirmed deaths across the country.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said three people were killed in two separate water rescue incidents in heavily flooded Bollinger County, south of St. Louis, on Saturday.
Two boys, ages 5 and 8, drowned near Patton when the vehicle they were riding in was swept off a flooded road, the patrol said, and a Louisiana man was killed when his vehicle was swept into the Whitewater River.
In Arizona, two children, both about 5 years old, were found dead on Saturday after they were reported missing when a vehicle was swept up a creek in Tonto Basin, about 50 miles northeast of Phoenix, the sheriff's office said. Crews were still searching Sunday for a 6-year-old girl.
And in South Dakota, a man was killed early Friday when the pickup truck he was riding in lost control on an ice-covered road near Cavour, in Beadle County, the state highway patrol said. Two other people in the truck weren't seriously injured.
Near Chamberlain, South Dakota, in Brule County, investigators were also trying to determine to what extent the rough weather played a role in the crash of a single-engine turboprop plane shortly after takeoff on Saturday.
While no official cause for the crash had been determined, "definitely we'll be looking into the weather conditions," said Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.
An initial report isn't expected for about two weeks, Knudson said.