A potentially crippling snowstorm is expected to slam the South, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast through the weekend.Snowfall is predicted to reach two feet or more in various locations, including the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Air and road travel is expected to come to a stand still during the weekend, as forecasters predict a mid-Atlantic weekend storm of historic proportions that could hit 75 million people.
“Heavy snow and blowing snow will cause dangerous conditions and will be a threat to life and property,” was the warning by the National Weather Service.
Washington will be the snow storm’s center, and frantic efforts are already taking place in the Capitol. Grocery shelves were emptied of water bottles by Thursday afternoon as lawmakers rushed to catch early flights out of town. The city’s massive bus and rail system were scheduled to be closed over the weekend in anticipation of the coming blizzard.Mayor Muriel E. Bowser declared a state of emergency.
“This will be a rare event for the region, as there are not many storms that bring a foot or more of snow over such a large area,” stated Elliot Abrams, AccuWeather chief meteorologist.
Other parts of the country expected to be affected by the storm were also in a panic even before the actual storm hit.In Maryland, numerous flights were cancelled. Long lines could be seen at grocery stores, and shovels were hard to find on Thursday.
The governors of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia all declared states of emergency on Thursday. They urged residents to stock up as much food as possible and stay off the roads during the snowstorm.Schools also announced closures on Friday.
The worst part of the blizzard is expected to come on Saturday and Sunday. Predictions say that the storm in these two days will cause winds of up to 50 miles per hour and drop between eight and 12 inches of snow.
Air transport is perhaps one of the most affected sectors. Over 1,000 flights scheduled for Friday and over the weekend have been cancelled.United Airlines announced that it would cancel all flights from Dulles and other mid-Atlantic airports beginning on Friday. Another airliner, American Airlines, announced that it would ground its entire Friday schedule for Charlotte, N.C., and weekend schedules for Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington National. These travel woes were felt as far as Florida as a result of trouble from the North.Other cancellations are expected to be effected over the weekend, even in parts that are not directly affected by the storm.
Patrick Burke of the National Weather Service in College Park warned people in the regions that would be hit hard to expect to lose power and to stay indoors.
“I would just really emphasize to people the hazardous nature of the storm. Since we have the good lead time, go ahead and make your plans to be where you’re going to be and have supplies ready,” he said
Baltimore and Washington D.C. will be worst hit by the snowstorm. It will be a long weekend for the 75 million people affected by the monster snowstorm. If you are in that number, brace yourself.