A Christmas Eve ‘Journey Nightmare’: Snow, Flooding, Possibly Tornadoes

A nasty winter storm slammed the jap United States on Christmas Eve, pushing drivers off the roads and threatening to spoil the plans of vacation vacationers and last-minute consumers in a season already dampened by the coronavirus.

The snow and rain prolonged from Atlanta to Buffalo on Thursday. Forecasters issued warnings about an array of attainable hazards — heavy snow, flooding, even tornadoes — from Tennessee to Maine.

The storm has already proven its ferocity, blanketing the Midwest on Wednesday and bringing greater than eight inches of snow to Minneapolis. Blizzard circumstances delayed a whole lot of flights and turned roads into harmful white sheets.

In Nebraska, police responded to greater than 250 crashes or requires assist, together with one with tragic outcomes: a person, girl and little one have been killed when their automobile skidded over a median alongside Interstate 80 and into an oncoming semi truck; two different youngsters within the automobile have been additionally injured.

Different locations are anticipated to be pummeled Thursday by a treacherous mixture of rain and snow. Forecasters stated elements of West Virginia might get greater than an inch of rain throughout the day after which as much as half a foot of snow within the night.

“Mix that, and it’s form of a journey nightmare,” stated James Zvolensky, a meteorologist with the Nationwide Climate Service in Charleston, W.Va. “Issues can get slippery fairly fast.”

Gusts of as much as 65 miles per hour have been anticipated to whip by means of New York Metropolis from late Thursday into Christmas morning, together with heavy rain, probably knocking over bushes and energy strains. “Widespread energy outages are anticipated,” the Nationwide Climate Service warned.

Throughout a pandemic vacation season by which well being consultants have pleaded with the general public to not journey, the brutal climate might be another reason to remain dwelling for Christmas. Even earlier than midday on Thursday, scores of flights in america had been canceled.

Final weekend, regardless of the warnings, greater than 1,000,000 vacationers a day handed by means of airport safety, about half as many as final yr.

Within the South, temperatures dropped unusually low on Thursday, and a few cities like Knoxville, Tenn., have been getting ready for his or her first important Christmas snowfall in a decade. In Florida, temperatures are anticipated to plummet by greater than 30 levels as rain and wind strikes into the state.

Tornadoes have been additionally attainable in Florida, Virginia and the Carolinas, forecasters stated.

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