A winter storm that dumped snow, ice and forced the cancellations of thousands of flights in the Deep South Wednesday is now wreaking similar havoc along the East Coast.
Small armies of utility workers labored to turn the lights — and the heat — back on as the Deep South remained a world of ice-laden trees and driveways following several unusual days of sleet and snow brought by a powerful system that could bring more than a foot of snow to such metropolises as Philadelphia, Washington and Boston.
Baltimore awoke to 15 inches of snow Thursday morning, measured in Pimlico, the neighborhood that is home to the Preakness Stakes horse race. Snow blowers roared, breaking the quiet of downtown as they cleared city sidewalks in a sleeting rain. But every cleared strip created a potential hazard as it quickly iced over. Traffic was light, with some pedestrians taking to the middle of the road.
Streets were similarly deserted in Washington. As Southerners did a day earlier, many heeded warnings to stay off the roads. The sound of plastic shovels against the sidewalk rang out, and cars were capped in white. Eleven inches of snow had accumulated, with more falling. People trudged through it on foot, hopping over piles built up at intersections. Federal offices and the city's two main airports were closed.
As of Thursday morning, more than 5,500 flights were canceled across the U.S., according to the flight-tracking websiteFlightAware.com.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the New York City area’s three major airports are bringing in extra staff to help out during the storm, MyFoxNY.com reports.
"While a change to rain can occur along some of the I-95 cities and most areas along the coast, this will be a major storm throughout the corridor with enough snow to make for slippery roads and difficult travel," said Accuweather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams,according to MyFoxDC.com.
At Falls Church Florist in Virginia, owner Mike Flood had his drivers out making residential deliveries despite the snow, scrambling to fulfill 1,000 Valentine's orders over the next two days.
"It's a God-awful thing," he said. "We're going to lose money, there's no doubt about it."
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