Updated Jan 18, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeast taken by NOAA on Jan. 17.
Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

State of play: The Weather Prediction Center said in a storm summary Monday that winter storm warnings were still in effect for portions of the Central Appalachians, Ohio Valley, interior Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, while other portions of the Central Appalachians and coastal New England are under high wind warnings.

  • The prediction center, based in College Park, Maryland, said the storm is expected to move slowly through the Northeast on Monday, likely bringing more snow and precipitation to the Central Appalachians and Northeast.
  • Extremely high wind gusts over 60 miles per hour were recorded in parts of the East Coast on Monday morning, and more than 129,200 customers from New York to Georgia were still without power, according to estimates from PowerOutage.us.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations were "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service.

  • The NWS reported 22 inches of snow fell in Ohio and New York at their highest points, 20 inches in North Carolina, and 10 inches in Georgia.
  • The wintry storm spawned two tornadoes in southwest Florida Sunday morning — including an EF-2 tornado with maximum winds of 118 near Fort Myers, Lee County, which injured at least three people, per the NWS.

By the numbers: More than 8,000 customers were without power in West Virginia and over 7,000 had no electricity in both Kentucky and North Carolina on Tuesday morning.

  • Other states still with widespread power outages included Georgia (nearly 5,000) and Florida (almost 4,000).
  • More than 3,000 flights within, into or out of the U.S. were canceled and over 8,000 others were delayed on Sunday, when the weather was particularly bad, FlightAware data shows.

What to expect: A deep low pressure system responsible for the severe U.S. weather in Florida is set to move farther into southeastern Canada on Tuesday, per the NWS.

  • Much of the interior Northeast will see the snow becoming more scattered over Monday night and the snow across the region should gradually taper off on Tuesday, the agency said.
  • "However, due to the size of the departing storm, blustery conditions are expected to continue into Tuesday for much of the Northeast," the NWS added.

Meanwhile, weather agency Environment Canada warned 8-16 inches of snow could fall on Monday over parts of southern and eastern Ontario, near the border with the U.S.

In photos: Scenes from monster storm
 A vehicle crashed on the road closed by the storm, on the Northwest Angle ice road at Lake of the Woods between Warroad and Angle Inlet, Minnesota on January 17.
A vehicle crashed on the road closed by the storm, on the Northwest Angle ice road at Lake of the Woods between Warroad and Angle Inlet, Minnesota on Jan. 17. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images
The U.S. Capitol dome during a snowstorm on Jan. 16.
The U.S. Capitol dome during a snowstorm on Jan. 16. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
A young woman walks along Main St. on January 16, 2022 in Greenville, South Carolina.
The scene on Main St. in Greenville, S.C., on Jan. 16. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
An Amtrak train engine moves along tracks in the train yard at Union Station in Washington, DC, during a winter storm on January 16.
An Amtrak train engine moves along tracks in the train yard at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
 Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, NC, United States on January 16.
Scenes from Charlotte, N.C., where the wintry conditions were still fun for some on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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