Fierce winter storm lashes South, mid-Atlantic with heavy snow, wind; nearly 850,000 without power – USA TODAY

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A potent winter storm packing heavy snow moved across the South and mid-Atlantic on Monday, snarling traffic, causing two deaths, nearly 850,000 power outages and shutting down much of the federal government in Washington. 
In the core of the storm’s heavy snow, there was the potential for 6-12 inches and locally higher amounts to pile up by the time the storm winds down Monday, AccuWeather said. That heavy amount of snow was most likely to fall from parts of eastern Virginia to the eastern shore of Maryland, much of Delaware and southern New Jersey.
As of midafternoon Monday, there were several reports of at least 10 inches of snow in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina.Glendie, Virginia, about 50 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., reported 14.6 inches.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the area until 4 p.m. EST Monday. Wind gusts of up to 35 mph were forecast, and travel was expected to be very difficult because of the hazardous conditions, the weather service said. The Weather Prediction Center said 2 inches of snow per hour could fall in some areas, and thundersnow was reported in at least five states, the Weather Channel said.
Two deaths were reported due to the weather. A 7-year-old girl died after heavy snow led to a tree falling on a home in Townsend, Tenn., about 30 miles southeast of Knoxville, WVLT reported
A second child, a 5-year-old boy in Georgia, was killed after heavy rain and strong wind gusts caused a tree to fall on a home near Atlanta in DeKalb County, according to CBS 46. 
In Washington, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced that federal offices would be closed Monday. Several school districts in the region said they would be closed, delayed or have virtual learning. The heavy snowfall, coupled with closings caused by the surge in COVID-19 cases, forced much of the nation’s capital to shut down.
Authorities across Virginia and Maryland reported numerous crashes and treacherous roads. 
More than half the flights at Washington’s three major airports were either delayed or canceled Monday morning, FlightAware said. A quarter of the flights at New York’s three major airports were delayed or canceled.
MESSY END TO HOLIDAY TRAVEL:1,800+ flights canceled Monday amid winter storm warnings
The storm produced gusty winds, which contributed to power outages in parts of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic, said. Almost 850,000 homes and businesses had lost electricity in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas as of midday Monday, according to, but power was slowly restored throughout the day with about 500,000 still without power as of 6 p.m. 
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In the mid-Atlantic, the heavy, wet snow accumulated on power lines, leading to outages, the Weather Service said. 
Karla Rivas, who is from Miami but lives in Baltimore, experienced her first winter storm.
“I love it,” she said. “I feel like it’s great to have the seasons.”
A cold front associated with the storm will be the focus for scattered showers and thunderstorms across the Carolinas and into Florida on Monday. Damaging winds and a few tornadoes are the main concerns in this severe weather threat.
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The storm dumped snow on the Plains, Midwest and interior Northeast over the past few days.
Much of the storm should be over with by late Monday or Monday evening as the low-pressure system tracks out to sea, said. Refreezing of melted snow Monday night may produce additional hazardous travel conditions.
Other parts of the country were dealing with a snowy start to the new year. 
Western Washington state and Oregon saw a mix of rain and snow while heavy snow, gusty winds, drifts and crashes shut down mountain passes and some highways.
Contributing: The Associated Press 


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