mostlycloudy
Tuesday July 7th, 2015 12:49PM

Eastern Seaboard next for sleet, ice, deep-freeze

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A powerful storm system that spread hazardous snow, sleet and freezing rain widely across the nation's midsection rumbled toward the densely populated Eastern seaboard on Sunday, promising more of the same.

Forecasters said the potent system already blamed for numerous power outages and thousands of weekend flight cancellations elsewhere, has Virginia and other Mid-Atlantic states in its icy sights before the Northeast is up next.

Icy conditions were expected to last through the rest of the weekend from Texas to Ohio to Tennessee. And officials warned a major ice storm was possible in Virginia's Appalachian region along the busy Interstate 81 corridor .

In Virginia, state Emergency Management spokeswoman Laura Southard said the storm had the potential to be a "historic ice event."

"This forecast is very concerning to us," Southard said. "I've worked multiple disasters, but I've never worked an ice storm with a forecast like this. It's just really important for everybody to take extra precautions."

Forecasters said the storm caused freezing rain and icy conditions in parts of Tennessee as it surged across that state late Saturday and early Sunday. It also has been blamed for plunging temperatures as a cold front sweeps down from the North on the jet stream.

Bob Nations Jr., director of the emergency operations command center for the Memphis area, said early Sunday that ice coating roads, bridges and overpasses caused several multi-vehicle crashes. He issued a statement urging drivers to use extreme caution, particularly on bridges and overpasses.

Police in Memphis, meanwhile, urged motorists to stay home altogether if they could avoid travel early Sunday.

Ice had built up on the windshields and roofs of parked cars throughout Memphis during the day Saturday. Law enforcement reported an increase in traffic crashes, and scattered power outages affected more than 3,000 people, emergency and utility officials said.

"It looks like we're going to be stuck with this for one, two, maybe three days," said Memphis attorney Sam Chafetz, who tried to get off the roads before the worst of the storm hit. "I'm not afraid of the ice and snow, I'm afraid of the other drivers who don't know how to drive in it."

Forecasters said motorists traveling Interstate 81 between Roanoke, Va., and Hagerstown, Md., should be on the lookout Sunday for any deterioration in conditions like that in Texas when the storm crossed parts of that state Friday and Saturday.

In Texas earlier, icy and treacherous sections of Interstate 35 north of Dallas were closed for hours at a time after tractor-trailers had trouble climbing hills, wrecks occurred and vehicles stalled, authorities said.

Tina Pacheco, her husband and two friends were traveling through Texas on their way to Mexico when the ice-laden interstate became so treacherous that traffic came to a standstill. They were forced to spend Friday night in their pickup truck, which they kept running for heat.

"We couldn't go anywhere," she said, adding, "It's a good thing we had gas."

Ice up to 4 inches thick was reported on one interstate in Texas at the height of the storm there. And about 75,000 customers in the Dallas area went without power for a time Saturday, down from a peak of more than 270,000 earlier. Oklahoma utilities reported more than 7,500 power outages across the state and western Arkansas.

The weather forced the cancellation of countless events, including Sunday's Dallas Marathon, which was expected to draw 25,000 runners, some of whom had trained for months, and the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, expected to include 20,000.

Around 7 inches of snow fell in northeast Arkansas and the Missouri boot heel, according to the National Weather Service in Memphis, and 8 to 9 inches fell in parts of southern Indiana. The storm dumped a foot of snow and more in some areas of Illinois, with police scrambling to respond to dozens of accidents and forced scores of schools to remain closed.

Residents were told to prepare for a few days without power, prompting them to rush to stores to stock up on groceries, buy electricity generators and gas up their cars. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell reminded residents to check on family and friends who are elderly, disabled or live alone.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
SC Senate gives final OK to Confederate flag removal
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate gave final approval Tuesday to a bill removing the Confederate flag from a pole in front of the Statehouse, sending the proposal to the House, where it...
12:02PM ( 46 minutes ago )
US job openings stay high, but actual hiring falters in May
WASHINGTON (AP) — Job openings stayed close to a 15-year high in May. It's a sign that companies are expecting continued economic growth, but the level of advertised jobs has yet to drive the same kin...
11:31AM ( 1 hour ago )
Senate, House look to update Bush-era education law
WASHINGTON (AP) — It's something most Democrats and Republicans in Congress can agree on — an update to the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law is much needed and long overdue.This week, the S...
3:24AM ( 9 hours ago )
Cosby said he got drugs to give women for sex
Bill Cosby testified in 2005 that he got Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and he admitted giving the sedative to at least one woman and "other people."
11:42PM ( 13 hours ago )
US stocks slip amid global sell-off after Greek 'no' vote
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks in the U.S. fell broadly following drops in overseas markets as Greeks voted to reject creditor conditions for more loans, but the losses weren't as steep as many had feared.Wit...
6:32PM ( 18 hours ago )