Wide-ranging snowfall creates travel troubles, power outages
Less than a week after a deadly winter storm brought heavy snowfall to the inner Northeast, precipitation once again blanketed the region, along with over a foot of snow in the Ozark Mountains and more snow in the Midwest.
The snowfall caused many travel problems for vehicles and planes, as well as massive power outages in several states. Multiple accidents paralyzed traffic in the Midwest Wednesday, including an accident on Interstate 475 west of Toledo, Ohio. At least one articulated lorry went off the road via a traffic camera, but it’s unclear if there were any injuries.
At the Ohio-Michigan state line, southbound I-75 was mostly blocked in Lucas County, Ohio. after half a jackknife. More than 1000 emergency services were deployed on Wednesday to clear streets as snow rolled through the northern portion of the state, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The rampant storm led to numerous flight delays and cancellations at major airports. Storm and wind caused some at LaGuardia Airport in New York City incoming flight delays during the afternoon hours, an average of 42 minutes. At Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, a ground freeze was put in place early afternoon due to snow on the slopes.
According to FlightAware, there were 3,641 flight delays within, to or from the United States as of Wednesday afternoon, including 648 at Chicago O’Hare International and 290 at Detroit Airport. Chicago Midway International Airport led the way with a total of 136 cancellations during the afternoon hours.
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Farther south, snow was heavy in parts of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri, where the Ozark Mountains helped increase snow totals. According to PowerOutage.us, more than 150,000 electricity customers were without power across the two states as of Wednesday morning, including over 97% of all customers in Oregon and Howell counties in Missouri.
The highest reported total snowfall between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon in the Ozark region was in Logan, Arkansas, in Benton County, home of retailer Walmart. Logan picked up 16 inches of snow in 24 hours, with the second-highest total being 14.5 inches in Searcy, Arkansas.
Other top snowfalls in the Ozark region were in Newton, Arkansas (13.2 inches), Marion, Arkansas (12 inches), and Howell, Missouri (12 inches).
Northeastern Wednesday, the highest snowfall totals were reported in West Virginia in the cities of Keyser (6.5 inches) and Hartmansville (6.3 inches). Other states that received snow were Maryland with 5.8 inches at La Vale and Pennsylvania with 4.8 inches at Hollidaysburg.
One place in the Northeast desperate for measurable snowfall was New York City, but the hub received only a trace of snow at the National Weather Service’s climate site in Central Park. A quick change to rain after the brief bout of snowflakes meant the Big Apple is still in danger of recording its last first measurable snowfall, which was previously set on January 29, 1973.
Revelers gather under the rain while waiting for the countdown during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square late Saturday, December 31, 2022 in New York. The city again avoided measurable snowfall on Wednesday, putting all-time no-snow records in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
The streak of consecutive days without measurable snow in New York City now stands at 322 days, the second-longest streak on record after a 332-day streak that ended December 15, 2020. Further west in New York, thunderstorm snow was observed near Tonawanda, New York, is about 10 miles north-northwest of Buffalo around 2:20 p.m. EST on Wednesday. Thunderstorms were also reported in southern Ontario, about 30 miles east of Detroit.
Winter storm warnings were in effect through 8:00 p.m. CST Wednesday in the Detroit metro area as well as Fort Wayne, Indiana. The same winter storm warning was in effect in New England and remained in place for Montpelier, Vermont until 7 p.m. EST.
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