Broadway's back; power's still out for thousands in South
Broadway turned the stage lights back on, rail service was expected to resume in New York, and emergency travel bans were lifted Sunday in Washington, D.C., and Maryland following a historic snowstorm that dumped 2 feet or more on some major cities. But thousands were still without power in the Carolinas and major roadways such as the Pennsylvania Turnpike had not completely reopened. More than 45 million people, meanwhile, had watched a video of one of the Smithsonian National Zoo's four pandas enjoying the snow. A look at the storm's impact by state:
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has lifted a driving ban he had imposed as a winter storm brought blizzard conditions to the mid-Atlantic region. The ban was lifted at 10 a.m. Sunday, but Markell said a state of emergency remains in effect. He urged residents to stay off the road unless they have a compelling reason to drive, so that snow plows could continue working without interference. With the passage of the storm, hazardous weather warnings have been lifted, but a coastal flood advisory was in effect for New Castle County until 1 p.m. Sunday, with minor flooding possible at high tide. Meanwhile, Markell planned to take an aerial view by helicopter Sunday afternoon of southern Delaware areas that were affected by coastal flooding during the storm.
Northeast Georgia began thawing out Sunday after getting blanketed with 8 inches of snow, said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Leary. The snow hadn't completely disappeared, however, because temperatures were still close to freezing, he said. Across the state, 945 customers were still without power Sunday, according to Georgia Power spokeswoman Ashley Stukes. The bulk of the outages were in the northeast part of the state due to constant snowfall and freezing rain. Since the storm began early Friday, crews have restored power to more than 125,000 customers statewide, Stukes said.
Motorists got stuck overnight Friday on Interstate 75 south of Lexington as wrecks and blowing snow brought traffic to a halt. Officials went from vehicle to vehicle, checking on marooned drivers; distributing water, fuel and snacks; and helping people get to shelters set up at churches and public schools along the highway. But some drivers said they were too far away to make it to the shelters. The road reopened early Saturday. Elsewhere, a transportation worker died while plowing snow-covered highways near Bowling Green, and a man died when his car collided with a salt truck.
Despite the high winds and tremendous volume of snowfall there was only one reported death in Baltimore, and officials aren't even sure it's snow-related, said Bob Maloney, Baltimore Director of the Office of Emergency Management. A travel ban in the city and along a 34.7-mile stretch of interstates has been lifted, but officials still urged residents to not venture out onto the roads if not necessary. Maryland Emergency Management Agency spokesman Ed McDonough said I-270 and I-70 from I-81 in Washington County to the Baltimore Beltway had reopened as of 7 a.m. Sunday.
In western Maryland, meanwhile, a barn roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow Saturday morning in the unincorporated community of Ijamsville, killing some of the several dozen beef cattle that had been herded inside to ride out the storm, said cattle owner Douglas Fink. Fink said he wasn't sure how many had died. He said most of the cattle escaped before the collapse, but he hasn't been able to count them because they're huddling close together.
Most major highways in New Jersey had been cleared by early Sunday, including the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. Nonetheless, reduced speed limits were in place on most of those roadways, and drivers were being urged to use extra caution and to avoid travel if possible. Officials say roads should be in good shape for the Monday morning commute.
All rail service in and out of New York's Grand Central Terminal is expected to resume Sunday afternoon after a record-setting blizzard hammered the city. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says service on the Metro-North lines at outlying terminals in New York and Connecticut is scheduled to begin after noon. Service on the Long Island Rail Road remains suspended. The MTA says the goal is to bring back service for the Monday morning commute. Three people died while shoveling snow in New York City, where over 25 inches of snow in Central Park marked the third-largest snowfall since record-keeping began in 1869, police and weather officials said. All Broadway shows - both matinees and evening performances - were given the green light to go on as normal Sunday after New York state officials lifted their travel ban. Bruce Springsteen postponed a show set for Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
NORTH CAROLINA/SOUTH CAROLINA
About 50,000 customers in the Carolinas remain without power as the sun is creeping out across two states hit by the first wave of the massive winter storm. On Sunday morning, Duke Energy reports that about 48,000 customers are without electricity in North Carolina, and another 1,700 in South Carolina. Forecasters expect some of the accumulation to thaw Sunday afternoon as temperatures climb above 32 degrees. But overnight, temperatures will dip back below freezing in many areas. In North Carolina, a man was charged with killing a motorist who stopped to help after the suspect's car slid off an ice-covered road. Jail records show 27-year-old Marvin Jacob Lee of Claremont was at the Catawba County jail Saturday on a murder charge pending a court appearance Monday. Multiple news media organizations reported Lee had run off an icy road when a passing truck with three men stopped to help around nightfall Friday. Sheriff Coy Reid said Lee became agitated and the men called police to come help Lee, who then started shooting.
A teenager sledding behind an all-terrain vehicle was hit by a truck and killed Friday, the State Highway Patrol said. The truck failed to yield at a traffic light and hit the sled, which the ATV was pulling in Wheelersburg, the highway patrol said.
State authorities say they hope to quickly reopen a section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Pittsburgh where hundreds of vehicles were stranded during the massive winter storm. More than 500 cars, trucks and buses - including those carrying the Duquesne (doo-KAYN') University men's basketball team and the Temple University gymnastics squad - got stuck there Friday night as the storm hit. Officials hoped to have the turnpike section reopened by mid-afternoon Sunday, said Turnpike chief executive officer Mark Compton. Only 20 tractor-trailers remained on the turnpike section in Somerset County, Gov. Tom Wolf said Sunday. He said the drivers voluntarily stayed with their trucks and were "all safe and ready to get going." vowed "an extensive after-action review" of how the situation developed and how officials responded to it.
Two people were killed as cars slid off icy roads. One vehicle plummeted down a 300-foot embankment Wednesday night, killing the driver, whose husband survived and climbed up over several hours to report the wreck. Nashville saw its heaviest snowfall in nearly 20 years as the storm caused gridlock on streets and highways in Middle Tennessee. Eight inches of snow fell at Nashville International Airport, the most since Nashville logged 8.7 inches of snow on March 19, 1996.
Firefighters evacuated tenants from 24 apartments in two northern Virginia apartment buildings after one partially collapsed and the other showed signs of weakening early Sunday, Prince William County officials said. They said the cause of the collapse appeared to be snowfall of approximately 28 inches during the past 36 hours in Manassas. No residents were hurt. One firefighter suffered a cut to the face, and about 65 people were displaced. The county says arrangements are being made to shelter them. A man was killed on Saturday in a single-vehicle crash in Virginia Beach that police blamed on speed and icy road conditions, and Virginia Tech filmmaker Jerry Scheeler died Friday while shoveling snow outside his new house in Daleville, local news media reported Sunday. On Saturday, the state medical examiner's office confirmed three other storm deaths. Snow, ice and gusting winds made the roof collapse at a Donk's Theater, a historic venue near the Chesapeake Bay, building officials said. The theater opened in 1947 and was known as Home of Virginia's Lil' Ole Opry.
Transportation crews in the nation's capital were hoping to make major roads passable Sunday and also to tackle secondary roads, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said. Bowser said the city's public schools, attended by nearly 49,000 students, would be closed Monday. She said officials were still assessing whether city government offices would open. Mass transit in the nation's capital was still shut down; officials expected to have an update by Sunday afternoon. The federal government closed its offices at noon Friday, and it wasn't immediately clear what the plans were for Monday. President Barack Obama, hunkered down at the White House, was one of many who stayed home. But a video of one of the Smithsonian National Zoo's four pandas enjoying the snow there was a bright spot amid the storm clouds, drawing 45 million views on Facebook as of Sunday.
The massive blizzard that dumped several feet of snow in parts of West Virginia has been a blessing for the state's ski industry. Nearly 90 percent of the trails are open at three ski areas, with a snow base ranging from 2 feet to more than 3 feet. The resorts were reporting strong business Sunday, with downhill skiers and snowboarders flocking to the slopes. Excellent conditions were also reported for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.