BOSTON (AP) — A winter storm is bringing its fury to the Northeast on Monday, causing the cancellation of flights, classes and major court cases a day after it dumped up to a foot-and-a-half of snow on the Chicago area and blanketed much of the Plains and Midwest.
The weather system moved slowly eastward overnight through the Ohio Valley into Pennsylvania and western New York state. Then it went into New England, where residents had celebrated the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory days after digging out from a massive storm that brought from 1 to 3 feet of snow to some areas.
Here’s the outlook:
The snow storm, which had brought 17.5 inches of snow to O’Hare International Airport by early Monday, was expected to deepen off the southern New England coast, bringing accumulations of 9 to 16 inches to Boston and nearly as much to Hartford, Providence, southern New Hampshire and Vermont.
“For New Englanders, we’re used to this during the winter,” said Matt Doody of the National Weather Service. But he cautioned that both the morning and evening commutes would be messy.
Snowfall totals in New York state were to vary from 6 to 10 inches in Buffalo and Binghamton and 8 to 14 inches in Albany. A winter storm warning is out for more than 20 counties, with up to 16 inches forecast for the eastern Catskill Mountains, and northern and central Taconics. Many Long Island schools have delayed opening or are closed due to a forecast of snow and freezing rain. The storm is expected to dump between 3 to 5 inches of snow north of Long Island Expressway and slightly less to the south.
The Philadelphia area received about an inch of snow before the precipitation changed over to rain. Forecasters expected about 3 to 5 inches to fall in the Lehigh Valley and 5 to 11 inches in northern Pennsylvania.
Northeast Ohio, including Cleveland, could get 4 to 9 inches and Toledo and the northwest part of the state were headed for 3 to 7 inches.
TRAVEL AND OUTAGES
More than 5,300 flights have been canceled over Sunday and Monday due to the storm, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.
Public officials throughout New England announced parking bans ahead of the storm so crews could keep the roads clear.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said state government planned a regular work day Monday but he encouraged commuters to take public transportation.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said the state Department of Transportation had 2,250 trucks, 235 rental trucks and 200 additional trucks on stand-by along with 5,400 equipment operators ready to clear roads.
In New Jersey, non-essential state employees have been told to report as part of a delayed opening, while essential employees were to follow regular schedules.
Amtrak planned to operate a normal schedule but with some modifications. It said it would have extra crews available to remove downed trees or make infrastructure repairs.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned residents of snow and ice, but most commuters were left to deal with plenty of slush and rain. But that warning will need to be heeded Monday afternoon, when snow and freezing rain were forecast to return to the area.
The Illinois Department of Transportation dispatched 350 trucks to clear and salt Chicago-area roadways ahead of Monday’s morning rush hour, and the city said late Sunday that it was sending out 150 more pieces of heavy equipment for road work.
DELAYS, CANCELLATIONS AND OUTAGES
The snowstorm is delaying two of the nation’s biggest court cases — the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez and jury selection in the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Proceedings were expected to resume Tuesday.
Across the country, hundreds of public schools canceled classes due to the danger of children traveling. Many parochial schools and colleges did the same.
The weather led to power outages, including roughly 10,000 ComEd customers in Illinois on Sunday evening. That number had been cut to 5,500 by midnight CST and was down to 2,500 statewide early Monday.
RECORD-SETTING STORM IN MICHIGAN
A winter storm dropped 1½ feet of snow as it passed over Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, extending the weekend for children at hundreds of schools into Monday and giving Detroit its biggest snowfall in four decades.
The storm made driving slow and dangerous. Communities across Michigan declared snow emergencies as road crews and residents worked to clear roads, driveways and sidewalks of snow. Freeway off-ramps were a problem, police said.
The National Weather Service said 16.7 inches fell at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus on Sunday and Monday. It was the No. 3 snow on record for Detroit and the area’s most since a 19.3-inch dump Dec. 1-2, 1974, the agency said.
The Kalamazoo and Battle Creek areas got the most, mostly ranging from 12-18 inches. A total of 18.5 inches came in for Battle Creek. Twenty inches was reported in downtown Kalamazoo, but the weather service says blowing a drifting snow may have inflated that measurement.
Ann Arbor got 14.1 inches of snow. The Grand Rapids and Lansing areas had reports of 9-11 inches.
SUPER BOWL TRAVEL
Officials say Super Bowl travel is expected to help make Monday the busiest day ever at Phoenix’s main airport, but snowstorms elsewhere could cause delays.
Sky Harbor International Airport said Sunday night that because of winter weather on the East Coast, flights to Boston and New York might be delayed Monday morning.
In the wake of Sunday’s big game, airport spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez says Monday is expected to be the busiest day ever at Sky Harbor.
The Transportation Security Administration says about 80,000 passengers are expected to depart, twice the normal amount for an average day.
Ohio officials said a Toledo police officer died while shoveling snow in his driveway Sunday and the city’s 70-year-old mayor was hospitalized after an accident while he was out checking road conditions.
The officer, who was not named, died of an apparent heart attack. City and medical officials say Mayor D. Michael Collins was hospitalized after he had a heart attack and his SUV crashed into a pole.
In Nebraska, a truck driver and a 62-year-old woman were killed in separate traffic accidents on snowy roads. In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said a 64-year-old man with a history of cardiac problems was found dead Sunday in his garage after shoveling snow.
(Photo Source: AP)