Storms sweep across the United States from coast to coast, causing frigid temperatures, power outages and traffic accidents

Storms sweep across the United States from coast to coast, causing frigid temperatures, power outages and traffic accidents

Heavy rain and quarter-sized hail fell in Southern California on Sunday, with the National Weather Service forecasting lightning and wind gusts approaching 60 mph (97 kph) in the mountainous region earlier in the day.

The California storm was moving south from the Sierra Nevada, where areas around Lake Tahoe received about 30 centimeters of new snow, and Mammoth Mountain reached 45 centimeters by Sunday morning. The previous day, the resort was forced to close several ski lifts after a wind gust of 91 miles per hour (147 kilometers per hour) was recorded.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said a 35-year-old woman was rescued after being swept into the Los Angeles River by the storm. The administration said she was airlifted to the hospital with minor injuries and hypothermia.

The National Meteorological Service also warned of what it called a major winter storm in the central regions of the country until Monday.

“This will be a high-impact winter storm and widespread system producing widespread heavy snow and gusty winds that will persist across portions of the northern Plains and upper Midwest,” the agency said in an online post.

Heavy snow is expected to spread across central and eastern Montana and extend into the northern Plains and upper Midwest through Sunday and into Monday. There is more than a 70% chance of at least 8 inches (20 cm) of snow from central South Dakota to northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, the weather service said.

Police across the Northeast reported hundreds of traffic accidents as cars ran off the road and drivers encountered icy roads, while Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and Boston also saw heavy rain and flooding.

Thousands of hardy people across New England spent Sunday digging after a major weekend storm dumped more than 2 feet (0.6 meters) of snow in some areas, causing multiple road accidents, downing power lines and trees and leaving hundreds of thousands in… the darkness. Some may last for several days in Vermont, New Hampshire and most of Maine.

Many areas in the Northeast saw totals of 8 inches to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) of snow, and some of the highest totals exceeded 30 inches (76 cm) in south-central Vermont, said Zach Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. . service.

“Overall, it was a very large winter storm, and for some areas it was some of the snowiest they’ve seen all winter with a single storm,” Taylor said.

Central Maine Power, the state’s largest utility, said crews began clearing damage and repairing downed lines on Sunday, but the company expected efforts for several days in areas hardest hit by the storm. By late Sunday, about 170,000 customers were without power in Maine.

“Damage to trees, poles and wires was extensive Saturday night, and our assessors are assessing the damage today so we can begin restoring power to our customers as quickly and as safely as possible,” said John Breed, a spokesman for Central Maine Power. .

And in Portland, Maine, city officials opened a warming center at an East End Community School for residents without power who need a warm place to visit, charge electronic devices or sleep overnight from Sunday evening to Monday morning.

Another 54,000 customers were without power in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Department of Safety announced Sunday that it has activated its Emergency Operations Center to help communities clean up from the storm, including those experiencing major power outages.

In New York, more than 57,000 customers were without power late Sunday, down from more than 90,000 earlier in the day. Areas north of New York City were among the hardest hit, according to online maps from National Grid and, a website that tracks power outages.

In New York City, floodwaters disrupted subway service, closed part of the Cross Island Parkway and trapped motorists on flooded roads through Central Park, where more than 3.5 inches (9 centimeters) of rain fell. On Fifth Avenue, a giant tree fell on several cars, closing the road.

In Lodi, New Jersey, flooding from the Saddle River inundated nearby roads.

A combination of sleet, freezing rain and heavy wet snow that downed trees and power lines was also blamed for hundreds of delayed and canceled flights at area airports.

Cold weather enthusiasts, including skiers, enjoyed the snow from coast to coast.

The more snow we get in New England, the better for ski resorts operating late in the season, said Kevin Bell, vice president of marketing for Lone Mountain in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Another major winter storm is developing in the west and will continue through Monday across most of the Rocky Mountains, Plains and upper Midwest, Taylor said. The National Weather Service warned that heavy snowfall and blizzards will continue in the northern Plains and upper Midwest through Tuesday.

This system is expected to bring heavy snowfall across parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, much of the Dakotas and into Nebraska and western Kansas with 8 to 12 inches of snow possible, with greater amounts across the eastern Dakotas and parts of central Minnesota. Taylor said.

“We are looking at a very strong area of ​​low pressure that will develop across Kansas tonight and then quickly rise toward the upper Midwest by late Monday into early Tuesday,” he said.

A winter weather warning has also been issued through Sunday night for parts of northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff to the New Mexico border, with up to half a foot (15 cm) of snow possible at upper elevations and winds of up to 40 mph (64 km/h). .

Snow showers are expected throughout Sunday night at elevations of 1.5 to 1.8 kilometers (5,000 to 6,000 feet), the weather service said.

The weather is expected to be unsettled with additional rain and snow in the Flagstaff, Arizona area on Monday and Tuesday, with another storm system possible moving into northern Arizona next weekend.


Associated Press writers Phil Marcello in East Meadow, New York; Julie Walker in New York City; Walter Perry in Phoenix; Christopher Weber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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