Philadelphia: A winter storm that brought snow and ice to the US East Coast moved off-shore on Friday, leaving at least 25 people dead and hundreds of thousands without power and causing a large pileup in Pennsylvania that injured 30 people.
The deaths included a pregnant woman struck by a mini-plow in New York City whose baby was then born by cesarean section and two people killed when they tried to aid a truck driver on a snow-covered interstate in North Carolina.
Across the US, this is shaping up as one of the snowiest winters on record. As of early this month, Washington, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, New York and St Louis had gotten roughly two or three times as much snow as they normally receive at this point in the season.
The latest go-round of bad weather came just in time to delay tens of thousands of deliveries of Valentine`s Day flowers, dropping snow, sleet and rain on roads already covered with deep puddles and icy patches.
The snow, sleet and ice that bombarded the Southeast Wednesday brought its ferocity into the Northeast yesterday today.
Numerous traffic accidents involving multiple tractor-trailers and dozens of cars completely blocked one side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Philadelphia today and injured 30 people, none seriously.
The crashes were reported about five hours after snow ended. Speed restrictions enacted during the storm had been lifted, but motorists say the roadway was coated with ice. By the time it stopped falling, 57 centimeters of snow was reported in one Pennsylvania County. Parts of upstate New York got up to 68.5 centimeters. Washington, DC, received 23 centimeters of snow yesterday, while New York City got nearly 25 centimeters.
The sloppy mix of snow and face-stinging sleet grounded more than 6,500 flights nationwide yesterday and about 2,100 more today. About 1.2 million utility customers lost power as the storm moved from the South through the Northeast, dropping to about 4,50,000 outages by today, mostly in South Carolina and Georgia.
Many schools remained closed Friday in eight states from Virginia to Maine.
The treacherous weather was blamed for more than two dozen deaths, many of them in motor vehicle accidents.