The brutal winter storm Gia that left seven dead, more than 200,000 without power and hundreds of flights cancelled over the weekend, is continuing to batter the Midwest and Northeast.
Virginia and North Carolina’s governors have issued state wide emergencies while winter storm advisories remained in place for more than 20 million people, from Ohio to the East Coast.
The unusually heavy snowfall in the capital has forced the Office of Personnel Management to announce it’s closing all its federal offices on Monday – causing further administrative chaos on the 24th day of government shutdown.
A person walks past snow-covered trees in Loose Park, Sunday, in Kansas City, Missouri, in the aftermath of a winter storm that dropped more than 8 inches of snow
Snow blankets a statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square with the White House behind, as a winter storm arrives in the region, Sunday
People lob snowballs at each other in a snowball fight near the Washington Monument in Washington, DCc. The DC metro area is under a winter storm warning and is expecting snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches
A person snow-wakeboards in the snow near the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, USA, after heavy snowfalls
A happy snow family is seen on Capitol Hill as a winter storm arrives in the region, Sunday, prompting federal offices to close, and flights to be cancelled
People sled on Capitol Hill during a winter storm January 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. where residents woke up to a winter wonderland
Winter Storm Gia will continue to dump snow and ice on the mid-Atlantic region through Sunday evening. Dulles International Airport (pictured) had picked up 6 inches of snow on Sunday
As more than five inches fell in Washington DC on Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered ground stops at both Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Nationally, more than 600 flights were cancelled Sunday, with more than 1,000 delayed, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. It followed almost 500 flight cancellations on Saturday and another 300 on Friday across the country.
For air travelers, the Dullest airport authority subsequently tweeted tips for flying on a snow day, including frequently checking for airline flight changes and packing ‘patience, a good dose of snow humor & a packet of hot chocolate.’
On Friday, an American Airlines flight slid-off the runway due to icy conditions while taxiing to the gate at the Columbia Regional Airport. None of the 80 passengers aboard the flight from Dallas were injured but the runway was so slick it could not be reached by bus so passengers were evacuated three at a time by first responders.
The heavy snow also knocked out power for nearly 200,000 people in Virginia and North Carolina on Sunday.
‘Thank you for your patience,’ Duke Energy spokeswoman Meredith Archie said. ‘We will continue to work to get the power back on.’
Meanwhile the West Coast is bracing for a winter storm of its own. Forecasters are predicting that California will be hit with an onslaught of heavy rain rain and snow over the next four days, as a new weather pattern rolls in from the Pacific Ocean.
Visitors bundle up against the snow and freezing temperatures left by Winter Storm Gia, which paralyzed much of the nation’s midsection, at the Reflecting Pool with the Washington Monument in the background, in Washington, D.C
As more than five inches fell in Washington DC on Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered ground stops at both Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.(Dulles Airport on Sunday)
The unusually heavy snowfall in the capital has forced the Office of Personnel Management to announce it’s closing all its federal offices on Monday – causing further administrative chaos on the 24th day of government shutdown
People sled on Capitol Hill during a winter storm January 13, 2019 in Washington, DC
Mrs. Pennsylvania American Woman of Service 2019 Jessica Mohn, left, Cole Mohn, center, Jeffrey Mohn, right, and Haley Mohn, back left, all of Birdsboro, Pa., make a snowman at Pottsville Winterfest in Pottsville, Pa., on Saturday
The heavy rain, snow and powerful wind brings the threat of flooding and mudslides to California where much of the vegetation in certain areas – which can protect land against mudslides – was ravaged by the wildfires.
Back on the East Coast, meteorologist Tyler Roys told USA Today that a high-pressure system was preventing the snow storm from moving north, meaning it would remain focused on DC into Monday. Locals could expect to wake up to eight inches on Monday – double the typical snowfall for this time of year.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam had declared a state of emergency across the state because of the wintry blast.
Storm Gia has already claimed one life in Virginia.
Police said Ronald W. Harris, 73, of Gainesville, Georgia, died after his vehicle was struck by two tractor-trailers. The two tractor-trailer drivers were taken to a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening. The state medical examiner determined Sunday that Harris’ death was storm-related, police said.
Virginia State Police said they responded to more than 300 traffic crashes and helped nearly 200 disabled vehicles in Virginia from midnight to late Sunday afternoon.
At least seven people have died, including five who were killed in crashes on slick roadways in Kansas and Missouri.
They included a woman and her 14-year-old stepdaughter whose car slid into the path of a semitrailer in Clinton, about 80 miles southeast of Kansas City, on Friday.
Another woman died when her car slid on U.S. 24 in northern Missouri and was hit by an oncoming SUV.
In Kansas, a 62-year-old man died after his pickup truck skidded on the Kansas Turnpike and hit a concrete barrier.
The National Weather Service reported nearly a half-inch of ice in some sections of western North Carolina, leading to fallen trees and power lines but other areas of the state got mostly a cold rain or freezing precipitation.
Visitors make their way through snow left by Winter Storm Gia, which paralyzed much of the nation’s midsection, at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, D.C
Visitors make their way through snow left by Winter Storm Gia, which paralyzed much of the nation’s midsection, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington,
Visitors make their way under trees coated with snow left by Winter Storm Gia, at the Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 13,
Aaron Rowe of the Architect of the Capitol’s office, which is not affected by the partial government shutdown, shovels snow left by Winter Storm Gia, on the U.S. Capitol’s plaza, in Washington
Snow from Winter Storm Gia falls over the White House as the partial government shutdown becomes the longest in U.S. history in Washington, U.S., January 13
A woman walks past a snow-covered tree in Loose Park, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, in the aftermath of a winter storm that dropped more than 8 inches of snow in the Kansas City, Mo areea
By late Sunday afternoon, the Washington, D.C. metro area, northern Virginia and parts of Maryland had total snowfall accumulations ranging from five to eight inches. Central Virginia, including Richmond, had much smaller accumulations — as little as one inch — but the snow was followed by hours of sleet and freezing rain.
Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said parts of the region could expect snow to continue falling into Sunday evening.
‘At this point, it is just going to head out to sea once it exits here this evening,’ Chenard said.
Most public school systems in northern Virginia and Prince George’s County schools in suburban Maryland said classes would be cancelled Monday.
The storm also was affected parts of Maryland. In Baltimore, a man was fatally shot as he shoveled snow early Sunday morning. Police said a 43-year-old man was outside shoveling at 4:40 a.m. when an unidentified suspect shot him in the head and shoulder. The victim died at a hospital.
Meanwhile, Illinois was trying to dig out from under heavy snowfall in some areas.
Springfield’s State Journal-Register reports the state capital broke a 55-year record for daily snowfall on Saturday. It cited the National Weather Service as saying the 8.4 inches of snow that day in Springfield broke the previous record for a Jan. 12 in 1964 of 6.6 inches. Some 11.5 inches of snow fell on Springfield over three days.
Among those killed in the Midwest during the storm was an Illinois state trooper struck by a car when he responded to a three-vehicle crash Saturday in suburban Chicago.
State Police Director Leo Schmitz told reporters that 34-year-old Christopher Lambert was headed home when he pulled over and got out of his squad car to respond to the accident. Schmitz said Lambert positioned his squad car to protect the other three cars and ‘took on the danger himself.’
For Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Jeff Allen, there was a bright spot hen a Good Samaritan helped pull his vehicle out of the snow after he got stuck en route to Arrowhead Stadium for the divisional playoff game Saturday.
Allen said he made it on time for the Chiefs’ victory over the Indianapolis Colts because of the assistance. The man who helped Allen didn’t know he was a Chiefs player at the time.
Winter Storm Gia has barreled through the Midwest leaving at least seven dead after almost 18 inches of snow caused chaos on the roads
At least seven have been killed and there have been reports of more than 800 crashes, 57 injuries and 1,790 stranded motorists on Missouri’s highways
Cars snarled back for miles on Missouri’s snow covered roads during the worst of the winter snow
Fans arrive to a snow covered Arrowhead Stadium before an NFL divisional football playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts, in Kansas City Saturday
Allen turned to Twitter to track down the Good Samaritan. When they connected Sunday morning, Allen thanked him and promised him tickets to next week’s AFC Championship game.
In Kansas City, where the Chiefs were hosting the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, about 8 inches of snow had fallen by early afternoon. The snow had tapered off by the time the game started midafternoon, but stadium crews worked for hours before the game to clear the stadium’s lot, field and seats in anticipation of a full house for the playoff game.
The storm is also causing traffic chaos for drivers in some states.
Part of Interstate 44 near St. Louis was blocked for several hours Saturday, and at one point the Missouri State Highway Patrol warned of traffic delays as long as eight hours.
In Indiana, the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 were closed for hours Saturday after a semitruck jackknifed along the snow-covered highway near Lafayette, about 65 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
Missouri troopers responded to more than 3,000 calls for help through early Saturday afternoon, including more than 700 crashes and 1,300 stranded vehicles.
Illinois State Police said troopers along the Mississippi River across from St. Louis have responded to more than 100 crashes during the storm.
In central Missouri, officials said about 12,000 households and businesses were without power in Columbia and the surrounding area at one point.
On the West Coast, some areas are expecting up to 15 inches of rain.
The downpours will spark travel chaos and the California Department of Transportation warned motorists that the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) may be shut down.