East Coast Braces for Second Blizzard

NEW YORK, Feb. 10 (UPI) — The snowstorm that dumped as much as a foot of snow in some parts of the U.S. midsection bore down Wednesday on the East Coast, forecasters said.

The white stuff and accompanying gusty winds were expected to cause hellish travel conditions from Washington to Boston, AccuWeather.com reported.

The snowstorm was expected to change from a wintry mix along a line from the Chesapeake Bay to southern New Jersey into a blizzard, with conditions deteriorating along the Interstate 95 corridor, forecasters said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered schools closed Wednesday, The New York Times reported. Public school districts in nearly every major city along the East Coast from Baltimore through Boston followed suit, as did dozens of county school districts.

At the blizzard’s height, strong winds were expected to whip the falling snow, creating extremely poor visibility conditions for extended time periods, AccuWeather.com said. Strong winds were forecast from the Carolinas to the central Appalachian Mountains, resulting in severe blowing and drifting snow.

At least a foot of snow was expected to fall far northern Maryland to southern Connecticut.

Several major airlines announced they canceled many, if not all, of their Wednesday flights out of airports in Washington, New York, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other East Coast cities, the Times said. Amtrak officials said the train would operate its Northeast regional service but warned of service disruptions.

In Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives announced Tuesday no votes would be taken for the remainder of the week because of the storm. Federal government offices were closed Wednesday, officials said.

Before leaving the Midwest, the storm wreaked havoc in the air and on the ground in Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit. Hundreds of flights were canceled at Chicago’s two airports, and Southwest Airlines suspended all flights for 24 hours until the storm’s expected end Wednesday, the Times said.

Officials said a Chicago-area woman was struck and killed Tuesday by a private snow plow near her home, the Chicago Tribune reported. She apparently was crossing the street when she was struck by a Chevrolet Silverado with an attached plow that was backing out of a private parking lot it was clearing. Officials said the snow plow driver received two citations in the incident.

In Michigan, state police advised drivers to take it slow if they must travel because of poor road conditions, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Michigan authorities blamed the storm for at least one death, a Ypsilanti woman whose car was struck by a garbage truck Wednesday.

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