‘Snowzilla’ paralyses US from Washington to New York

Washington, Jan 24 (IANS) A monster storm paralysed major cities from Washington to New York along the US East as it dumped more than three feet of snow in some places, disrupting road and rail traffic and grounding thousands of flights.

At least 19 storm related deaths were reported in several states, more than 160,000 people lost power, about 140,000 of them in North Carolina and South Carolina alone, travel was banned in New York and more than 10,000 flights were cancelled.

As of Saturday evening, Glengary in West Virginia reported the highest snowfall, with 40 inches. The storm ranked No. 3 in terms of snowfall accumulation in New York City history with at least 25.1 inches

Dubbed “Snowzilla” and “Snowmageddon 2016”, it was among Washington’s biggest too with Dulles International Airport getting 26.5 inches. The record for Washington is 28 inches, set in 1922.

As many as 11 states — Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia — declared states of emergency. Washington, DC, has declared a “snow emergency.”

The storm caused major traffic tie-ups on highways in Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Road accidents Friday night caused a 7-mile-long backlog involving around 500 vehicles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, CNN reported.

In central Kentucky, some drivers were stranded along a 35-mile stretch of Interstate 75 for as long as 19 hours, from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning.

Mass transit services in Washington and Baltimore have been suspended for the weekend. US national railway Amtrak’s service to and from the East Coast has either been cancelled or truncated.

In New Jersey, the storm’s winds were pushing water from the ocean into the state’s barrier islands.

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