Heavy snow — close to a foot in some cities — blanketed much of the Eastern Seaboard on Monday and spelled a nightmare for morning commuters battling strong winds and freezing rain.
The heaviest snow, up to 15 inches, was forecast for the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, northeast Connecticut and north into the Merrimack Valley in northeast Massachusetts, the National Weather Service said. In Boston, two women, one of them pregnant, died after their car smashed into a city plow truck, CNN affiliate WCVB reported. The pregnant woman was 25 years old and the other woman was 65 years old, police told WCVB. Boston public schools are canceled Monday. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared a snow emergency Sunday night. Delta Air Lines has canceled 300 flights, most of them to or from Atlanta, Georgia, because of snowy weather, airline spokesman Brian Kruse said Sunday. Traffic along northbound Interstate 85 near Highway 9 in Spartanburg County in South Carolina was at a standstill. iReporter Brian Ragon was visiting friends in Atlanta when he decided to head home to South Carolina on Sunday evening just as the weather seemed to be clearing up. But an hour from home, he had to slow his pickup truck to 5 mph because the snow was coming down harder. He thought he was making a wise move when he pulled over to the side on I-85, hoping to wait it out. It quickly became clear that he wasn’t going to get home, he said. He spent the night in the truck with his German shepherd. They both ate beef jerky and stayed warm by keeping the heat going, thanks to his full tank of gas. An IT worker, he had an air card and passed the time on his laptop. iReport.com: Stranded motorist slept in car Travelers across the rest of the country were having much more stressful experiences. Delta’s Web site listed options for travelers who might be affected by the storm in Georgia, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington. Watch report on the storm system » In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Duke Energy reported more than 100,000 customers without electric service early Monday. The worst problems were in Gaston and Mecklenburg counties, according to CNN affiliate WXII. A winter storm warning was in effect for Monday from the Carolinas to Maine. Widespread highway closures were expected as snow accumulated.
iReport.com: Snow in the South
A winter storm warning is issued when an average of 6 or more inches of snow is expected in a 12-hour period, or 8 or more inches in a 24-hour period. In Washington, Mayor Adrian Fenty declared a snow emergency Sunday afternoon, meaning any street designated as “snow emergency route” by signs would be cleared of any parked vehicles, towed if necessary, so snowplows could work unimpeded. iReport.com: Share photos of icy, snowy weather in your town “It is important that our crews have access to the roads from curb-to-curb in order to plow the snow,” said Fenty, whose city was expected to get up to 8 inches of accumulation during the night hours Sunday, with accumulations up to 10 inches by Monday night. Lesser amounts of snow were reported as far south as Alabama, although Charlotte, North Carolina, could see up to 8 inches. Watch winter storm cause accidents » The snow was more than 5 inches deep in Germantown, Tennessee, by Sunday afternoon, forecasters said. Watch the situation in Tennessee »
Julie Oaks from the Tennessee Department of Transportation told CNN she had never seen snow before in the western part of the state. Watch the snow come down in Memphis » Tennessee called in 260 employees to work through the night salting and plowing roadways, she said.