The Times West Virginian

Headline News

February 14, 2014

‘Oh, not again’: Northeast hit by another storm

PHILADELPHIA — Yet another storm paralyzed the Northeast with heavy snow and sleet Thursday, giving the winter-weary that oh-no-not-again feeling, while hundreds of thousands across the ice-encrusted South waited in the cold for the electricity to come back on.

At least 21 deaths were blamed on the treacherous weather, including that of a pregnant woman struck by a mini-snowplow in a New York City parking lot as she loaded groceries into her car.

The sloppy mix of snow and face-stinging sleet grounded more than 6,500 flights and closed schools and businesses as it made its way up the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor, where shoveling out has become a weekly — sometimes twice-weekly — chore.

“Snow has become a four-letter word,” lamented Tom McGarrigle, a politician in suburban Philadelphia.

About 1.2 million homes and businesses lost power as the storm moved from the South through the Northeast. By Thursday evening, about 550,000 customers remained in the dark, mostly in South Carolina and Georgia.

Baltimore awoke to 15 inches of snow. Washington, D.C., had at least 8, and federal offices and the city’s two main airports were closed. The Virginia-West Virginia state line got more than a foot.

Philadelphia had nearly 9 inches, its fourth 6-inch snowstorm of the season — the first time that has happened in the city since record-keeping began in the late 1800s. New York City received nearly 10 inches, and parts of New Jersey had more than 11.

The Boston area was expecting 4 to 6, while inland Connecticut and Massachusetts were looking at a foot or more.

In some places, the snow and freezing rain eased up during the day, but a second wave was expected overnight into Friday.

“It’s like a dog chasing its tail all day,” said Pat O’Pake, a plow operator in Pennsylvania.

In New Cumberland, Pa., which had about 10 inches of snow by midafternoon, Randal DeIvernois had to shovel after his snow blower conked out.

“Every time it snows, it’s like, oh, not again,” he said. “I didn’t get this much snow when I lived in Colorado. It’s warmer at the Olympics than it is here. That’s ridiculous.”

In New York, Min Lin died after she was struck by a utility vehicle with a snowplow attached to it as it backed up outside a shopping center in Brooklyn. Her nearly full-term baby was delivered in critical condition via cesarean section.

No charges were brought against the snowplow operator in what appears to have been an accident, police said.

Across the South, the storm left in its wake a world of ice-encrusted trees and driveways and snapped branches and power lines.

In Bonneau, S.C., Jimmy Ward and his wife, Cherie Ward, lost power and spent Wednesday night in their home, warming themselves in front of a gas log fire.

But after running low on propane, they headed Thursday night for a hotel, where it was expected to be cozier but a lot less exciting than the night before.

“From 2 o’clock yesterday until this morning, it just sounded like gunfire — all the trees popping and falling,” Cherie Ward said.  

In North Carolina, where the storm caused huge traffic jams in the Raleigh area on Wednesday as people left work and rushed to get home in the middle of the day, National Guardsmen in high-riding Humvees patrolled the snowy roads, looking for any stranded motorists.

Some roads around Raleigh remained clogged with abandoned vehicles Thursday morning. City crews worked to tow them to safe areas where their owners could recover them.

The storm didn’t leave animals alone, either. In Maryland, Prince George’s County fire officials said a horse that had slipped inside a snowy barn and gotten stuck on its side was euthanized after failing to show signs of improvement.

Around the country, this is shaping up as one of the snowiest winters on record. As of early this month, Washington, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, New York and St. Louis had gotten roughly two or three times as much snow as they normally receive at this point in the season.

The procession of storms and cold blasts — blamed in part on a kink in the jet stream, the high-altitude air currents that dictate weather — has cut into retail sales across the U.S., the Department of Commerce said. Sales dipped 0.4 percent in January.

This latest round of bad weather threatens to disrupt deliveries of flowers for Valentine’s Day on Friday.

“It’s a godawful thing,” said Mike Flood, owner of Falls Church Florist in Virginia. “We’re going to lose money. There’s no doubt about it.”

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport was virtually silent, with all flights canceled. Travelers tried to catch some sleep in the terminals.

Rob Wolcott, of Washington, and his wife were trying to reach the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, where he was planning to officiate at a friend’s wedding on Saturday.

The future bride and groom are “a little stressed,” Wolcott said. “But they’ll figure something out. They will still get married, whether or not I am the one to do the actual officiating.”

On the National Mall in Washington, 8-year-old Lucas Moore was having fun with his father and thinking about how all the snow days he has had this year may come back to haunt him.

“If they do cut into summer, I’m going to be, like, really mad and trying not to go to school,” he said. “When it’s summer, play time.”

In New York City, the teachers union and TV weatherman Al Roker harshly criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to keep schools open. Roker, who was in Russia for the Winter Olympics but has a daughter in New York’s public schools, said on Twitter: “It’s going to take some kid or kids getting hurt before this goofball policy gets changed.”

The mayor said many parents depend on schools to watch over their children while they are at work.

1
Text Only
Headline News
  • U.N. school in Gaza in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children’s clothing scattered in the courtyard.

    July 25, 2014

  • Jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

    An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation disaster in a week.

    July 25, 2014

  • Two more planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in Netherlands

    Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash site which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

    July 25, 2014

  • Obama demands ‘economic patriotism’

    Staking out a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, President Barack Obama on Thursday demanded “economic patriotism” from U.S. corporations that use legal means to avoid U.S. taxes through overseas mergers.
    “I don’t care if it’s legal,” Obama declared. “It’s wrong.”

    July 24, 2014

  • Airline disasters come in a cluster

    Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks in memory, a cluster of disasters spanning three continents.

    July 24, 2014

  • Opponents: Evidence against lethal injection

    The nation’s third botched execution in six months offers more evidence for the courts that lethal injection carries too many risks and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, death-row lawyers and other opponents said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Ancient Animal Dig.jpg Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

    For the first time in three decades, scientists are about to revisit one of North America’s most remarkable troves of ancient fossils: the bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at least 30 feet deep at the bottom of a sinkhole-type cave.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bodies of Malaysian jet victims solemnly returned to Dutch soil

    Victims of the Malaysian jetliner shot down over Ukraine returned at last Wednesday to Dutch soil in 40 wooden coffins, solemnly and gently carried to 40 identical hearses, flags at half-staff flapping in the wind.

    July 24, 2014

  • 48 dead in Taiwan plane crash

    Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying to the small Taiwanese island on Thursday where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48. There were 10 survivors, and authorities were searching for one person who might have been in a wrecked house on the ground.

    July 24, 2014

  • Agents get subsidized ‘Obamacare’ using fake IDs

    Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday.
    The weak link seemed to be call centers that handled applications for frazzled consumers unable to get through online.

    July 24, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads