Winter storm cancels 2,800 flights, shuts down federal gov’t

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Heavy snow forced airports to cancel nearly 2,800 flights while schools and federal government offices in Washington, D.C. shut down on Monday.

Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) cancelled more than 680 flights as of 3:15 p.m. ET, according to FlightAware.com. Airport crews worked to clear snow and ice from runways and taxiways.

At BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore, more than 130 departing flights were cancelled as of 10:30 a.m. At Washington Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Virginia, more than 100 flights were cancelled. At Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlingtong, Virginia, nearly 300 departing flights were canceled. A few dozen flights were also delayed at the three airports.

Along with the federal government, the U.S. Congress rescheduled Monday’s business to Tuesday. Public school systems from Dallas to Philadelphia canceled Monday classes. Schools in parts of North Carolina were also closed as the storm is expected to bring sleet and possibly snow later Monday.

DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray declared a state of emergency beginning at 7 a.m. Three-and-a-half inches fell on the District by mid-Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Areas in the north and west received 5 to 7 inches by noon. A winter storm warning was active until 6 p.m.

In other states, the snow forecast is 8 inches in New Jersey, 4 to 8 inches in Delaware and 6 inches in Kentucky.

The Maryland Transit Administration cancelled all MARC train and commuter bus service for Monday. Bus lines were diverted throughout Baltimore, and Charm City Circulator bus service was suspended. Amtrak reduced frequencies along its Northeast Corridor and cut service around Wilmington, Delaware.

States of emergency were also declared in Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia. Virginia State Police responded to 65 traffic crashes caused by icy roads by 10:30 a.m. Monday.

About 20,000 people in Memphis and 14,000 people in Arkansas lost electricity.

A cold mass from Canada that brought frigid air southeast caused temperature in Texas to plummet from 81 degrees Fahrenheit to 17 on Monday, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris. The Southern Plains has 30 to 40 degrees below normal as of Monday afternoon.

Temperatures were forecast to be in the upper 20s and lows in the teens Tuesday. Temperatures will stay below freezing through Wednesday afternoon, with highs in the mid-30s and lows in the mid-20s.

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