Snow and ice make roads treacherous as storm pushes toward East Coast

Dec. 9, 2013 at 10:44 AM   |   0 comments

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Icy roads and power lines caused dozens of school districts around Dallas to cancel classes and closed highways in and around the area, officials said Monday.

Patchy ice turned Interstate-20 near Dallas into a washboard, making the morning commute difficult for drivers, WFFA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth, reported.

Officials said Dallas' light-rail transit system would not be fully back online Monday as hoped, although work to restore the system was ongoing.

"We were making good progress," transit officials said in a statement, "but the ice fog that started coming in Sunday night caused the overhead power lines to re-freeze."

The deadly storm was expected to dump snow and up to a quarter-inch of ice along a line from Virginia to New York.

The system, blamed for multiple deaths as it marched through the Midwest and Plains states late last week, also was responsible for at least three deaths Sunday in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, officials said.

In New Jersey, at least two people were killed in when their car skidded into a tree Sunday, Newark's Star-Ledger reported.

Pennsylvania police said a 50-car pile-up on the state turnpike Sunday left one driver dead and dozens of motorists stranded in the middle of a major snowstorm, ABC News reported.

Two enterprising brothers -- Josh Lobach, 21, and Andrew Lobach, 22 – made some cash by delivering pizza slices to hungry travelers, charging $5 a slice, ABC News said. The brothers were returning to college in South Carolina when they were caught in the traffic jam.

Being hungry, they ordered pizza, convincing the delivery driver to deliver the pizza to a nearby overpass.

"It took some convincing," Andrew Lobach, a college sophomore, told ABCNews.com.

They then ordered a few extra pies when they saw how many other cars were stranded.

"We had a lot of thumbs up even when they weren't buying," Andrew Lobach said.

The brothers also delivered water bottles to thirsty travelers for free.

National Football League games along the East coast were played on snow-covered fields.

The freezing rain also canceled flights and forced government offices in Washington to open late as the deadly storm pushed ahead.

Flightaware.com reported more than 2,600 flights were canceled nationwide Sunday and 1,000 more were no-gos Monday, CNN reported.

AccuWeather.com said enough freezing rain threatened to coat parts of the Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic and Northeast for some power outages and tree damage. Forecasters said the heaviest icing will target Kentucky and the Interstate 81 corridor in Virginia.

A brief warming spell was enough for the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to open runways and begin outbound flights to take the thousands of travelers stranded at the airport Friday and Saturday, the Dallas Morning News reported.

"When Mother Nature drops a hockey rink on your airport, there's only so much you can do," airport spokesman David Magana said.

While the Gulf Coast and Southeast won't see the frigid temperatures and ice Monday, forecasters said many areas will experience heavy rain.

In and around the nation's capital, more than 40,000 utility customers were without power early Monday as temperatures hovered around freezing, the Washington Post reported.

While parts of the nation contended with ice or struggled to reach double-digit temperatures Monday, heavy snow spread across the mid-Atlantic states into the Northeast, AccuWeather.com said.

A band of heavy snow spread Sunday from north-central West Virginia to Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.

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