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Early season winter blast creates hellish conditions for commuters

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Early season winter blast creates hellish conditions for commuters

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Winter Storm Avery hit New York and led to multiple traffic jams for commuters across the state.
USA TODAY

An early season winter that spread havoc and misery from the Midwest to New England and even into the Deep South, caused at least seven deaths and left New York commuters in a multi-hour gridlock from jammed roadways, icy highways and even some buses giving up for lack of snow tires.

Even NASA had to reboot, canceling a planned supply mission to the space station along the Virginia coast because of the wintry weather.

The St. Louis area had as 8 inches of snow, parts of suburban Philadelphia got 5 inches, and sections of New Jersey was on target to pick up 8 inches, while parts of southern New England was bracing for up to to 6 inches as the storm moved east.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the entire region early Friday morning.

The heaviest snowfall totals reached several inches in some spots east and south of Rochester. 

The first winter storm of the season caught New Jersey state officials off guard Thursday, leaving commuters enraged, stranded on snow-covered and ice-slicked roads and wondering why so little was done to prepare.

Commuters took to all corners of the internet to tell their horror stories — and place the blame squarely at the feet of Gov. Phil Murphy.

“The total lack of preparedness from the governor’s mansion on down left our state in a complete mess!” said Jay Wanczyk, who spent over 7 hours on an NJ Transit bus from Pompton Plains to Manhattan. Some parts of New Jersey received 6 to 8 inches of snow, making it one of the largest totals ever for a single storm in November.

In Washington, D.C., the federal government is open Friday. 

…Early season winter storm to bring snow, sleet, and freezing rain to the Northeast with the addition of gusty wind and coastal flooding… …Heavy snow possible for parts of the Northern Plains… The energy will aid in producing snow over the Great Lakes into the Lower Great Lakes and Northern New England, ending over the Great Lakes by Friday evening and over Northern New England by Saturday morning.  arly season winter storm to bring snow, sleet, and freezing rain to the Northeast with the addition of gusty wind and coastal flooding… …Heavy snow possible for parts of the Northern Plains..

Some drivers have been stuck in the traffic for 12 hours – since Thursday afternoon. Conditions began improving toward the early morning hours on Friday.

Police drove on the opposite side of I-78, honking their horns, to wake up drivers who fell asleep in their trucks.

“Drivers, wake up! Traffic’s moving!” police shouted to  https://6abc.com/traffic/traffic-nightmare-on-i-78-drivers-fall-asleep-after-12-hour-delays/4699179/?sf202458400=1

More than a foot of snow fell across portions of the Poconos in Pennsylvania and the Catskill Mountains in New York and 6 to 10 inches of snow accumulated from western Maryland to northeastern Massachusetts. Snow is still falling across Upstate New York and northern New England, where snowfall totals will likely reach 6 inches to a foot by this afternoon.

Snowfall totals were slightly lower along the coast, with up to 8 inches of snow reported from northern New Jersey to southern New England. East and south of Interstate 95 from the nation’s capital to Boston, snowfall totals generally remained below 6 inches.

A nor’easter that is crawling up the Northeast Coast will continue to produce heavy snow in northern New England and rain along the immediate coastline this morning into early this afternoon. 

The winter storm has set a few records along the East Coast. Reagan National Airport measured 1.4 inches, breaking the former November 15 snow record of 0.2 inches set in 1906. Baltimore had 1.7 inches of snow, edging out the November 15, 1908 record by 0.5 inches. Philadelphia totaled 2.4 inches, which shattered the former record for the day of 1.6 inches. Central Park totaled 6 inches, breaking its daily snow record for November 15 of one inch. 


 

WASHINGTON — A pre-winter storm blamed for seven deaths moved slowly across the Midwest, Appalachian mountains and into the East Coast on Thursday, leaving a trail of closed schools, traffic headaches and power outages across much of the country.

Outages were reported throughout the snow’s path. As of early Friday, roughly 300,000 customers were without power, mostly in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, according to poweroutage.us. 

Utility companies blamed a combination of the wet snow, heavy winds and the early-season timing of the storm — with trees still clinging to their leaves in the late fall — for the falling branches. 

New Jersey’s largest city, Newark, was among the metropolitan areas blitzed by the storm. A ground stop was in place briefly at the city’s international airport early Friday morning following a day in which 400 flights were cancelled. A ground stop was also briefly in place at Boston Logan Airport on Thursday night.

In Mississippi on Wednesday, a tour bus bound for a casino overturned, leaving two people dead and 44 others injured. And in the Little Rock, Arkansas, area, three people were killed in separate crashes on icy roads Wednesday night.

Officials in Ohio reported at least one traffic death that was likely weather-related. Indiana State Police also reported a death early Thursday, which they said was caused by the 60-year-old woman driving too fast on a slick road.

In Philadelphia, a meteorologist told the Allentown Morning Call that this storm is “an overperformer.” By 3 p.m. Thursday, parts of suburban Philadelphia had 5 inches of snow. The freezing rain turned to ice on roads around the state, leading to a number of crashes and reports of cars sliding off roads.

Up to 7 inches of snow fell in the St. Louis area on Thursday, with more continuing to fall, the weather service said. The all-time record snowfall for a single November day in St. Louis is 7.6 inches, so that mark is in jeopardy. 

The weather service issued winter storm warnings from western North Carolina to northern Maine, a distance of almost 1,000 miles.

Less severe winter weather advisories were also in effect from the central Plains to the Mid-Atlantic. Overall, about 75 million Americans live where wintry weather is possible Thursday into Friday, the National Weather Service said.

Also, in Virginia, NASA said the planned launch early Thursday of an unmanned cargo rocket to the International Space Station had to be rescheduled until Saturday because of the weather. 

Contributing: Scott Fallon in Bergen, N.J., Christopher J. Eberhart in Westchester, N.Y., Josephine Peterson in Wilmington, Del., and the Associated Press.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/11/16/winter-storm-commute-new-york-east-coast/2022869002/

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