Much of nation digs out ahead of more winter storms

Millions of Americans from Colorado to Washington, D.C., were digging out from a major winter storm Monday while forecasters warned that more snow chaos could be on the way next weekend.

The storm began its march in Colorado last week before dumping up to 20 inches of snow in parts of Missouri. On its way east, it rolled through an area from Baltimore to North Carolina, blanketing Washington and its environs with up to a foot of snow and pounding parts of western North Carolina with a half-inch of ice.

Almost 100,000 homes and businesses remained without power Monday in Missouri, Kansas, North Carolina and Virginia.

Schools were closed for hundreds of thousands of kids across the metro Washington area Monday, just hours after the snow finally quit. Interstates were cleared, but local roads remained icy, some untouched by plows.

North Carolina had the highest number of power outages lingering Monday, almost 50,000. Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency and urged residents in the mountainous west to stay off roads.

“Thanks to the crews working hard to restore power and keep our roads safe,” he said.

Flight delays and cancellations across the swath of the storm were easing Monday after a weekend of scheduling havoc. A jet slid off a taxiway in Cincinnati on Sunday, but no injuries were reported.

More: Fierce winter storm slams East with ice, snow; more could be coming

More: Snow count: 1,500 flight cancellations since Friday; schedules improving

Interstates that had been the scene of thousands of crashes and abandoned vehicles also were opening up.

At least nine people died in the storm, including four in Missouri, where the Highway Patrol rescued almost 2,000 stranded motorists over the weekend.

Almost a foot of snow was measured at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Omaha was digging out from almost as much, as was the Illinois capital city of Springfield.

Illinois State Trooper Christopher Lambert was among the storm’s fatalities, hit by a car Saturday while responding to a three-vehicle crash I-294.

“Trooper Lambert deliberately placed his vehicle in a position to protect the lives of the victims of the previous crash, and took on the danger himself,” State Patrol Director Leo Schmitz said.

The weather event itself was largely over Monday. The next few days should provide an opportunity for recovery, AccuWeather forecasts. But a “significant” winter storm could develop from Friday into next weekend, sweeping snow and ice from the central Plains to a large swath of the Northeast.

And there may be more after that, AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

“There will be no rest for the weary with another storm approaching the East between Jan. 22 and 23,” Pastelok said.

 

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