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Heavy snowfall began in the Northeast on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, marking the season’s first major snowstorm this winter. The storm dropped up to four feet in some areas along the East Coast.
Reports of severe car crashes began to come in all over the mid-Atlantic states. Hundreds of vehicles slipped and slid along roadways. Some of these crashes ended in a deadly manner.
According to the Weather Channel, the treacherous storm has closed hundreds of schools from North Carolina to New England. Many officials have asked people to stay off roadways if possible.
At 6:18 a.m. EST, a Spirit Airlines flight slid off an airstrip in Baltimore, Maryland. The aircraft first landed safely before sliding on its way to the terminal. According to WBFF- TV, the local news station, there were 111 people on board at the time. No one was injured, and passengers were moved from the plane to the terminal via shuttle buses.
The Weather Channel further reports there have been at least five deaths attributed to this snowstorm. At 1:30 a.m., a driver was killed when a tractor-trailer truck rolled over in New York. Roughly one hour later, New York State Police reported a person had died when he drove his snowmobile into a tractor-trailer.
In Clinton County, Pennsylvania, one person died, on December 16, due to a crash involving 66 vehicles. This incident spanned one-mile on Interstate 80. The person died around 3 p.m. This section of Interstate remained closed through the afternoon on December 17.
Storm Slams the Northeast as More Crashes Happen
Crews have been working hard to remove snow and vehicles to reopen the Interstate. One man was killed and two other people injured during a head-on crash in Park City, Kansas. The dead man’s Buick Century crossed the snow cover median, crashing head-on into a Ford Flex.
At 9 a.m. on December 17, New Hampshire State Patrol reported they had responded to over 120 disabled vehicles and crashes. One of those crashes involved a snowplow truck.
In Massachusetts, the snow has been creating whiteout conditions causing extremely difficult driving conditions. Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh told NBC10, “This is a lot of snow. This is not a typical kind of snowstorm, this is a bigger … type of snow storm.”
He further commented that he hopes “we don’t set a record this year, but 2020 is one of those years I suppose we could.”
As of 8:30 a.m., over 70,000 businesses and homes were reported to have no power throughout the Northeast. Most of those reports came from Virginia.
Snow began falling in Milford, Maine, around 1 p.m. Thursday. This storm is continuing in the Northeast. It is expected the snow to cause more crashes and possible power outages. Many people are hoping more deaths are not reported due to this storm.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Weather Channel: At Least 5 Dead as Winter Storm Gail Hammers the Northeast; Plane Slides off Taxiway in Baltimore; by Ron Brackett
USA Today: Deadly winter storm brings nearly 4 feet of snow to some areas of the Northeast, and there’s more to come; by Doyle Rice
Images Courtesy of Sheena Robertson