Icy weather turns fatal; 2,000 flights canceled

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A series of snowy and icy storms swept through the southern and northeastern United States over the weekend, leaving at least five people dead and causing the cancellation of thousands of flights — including more than 1,000 just at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Sunday.

Some parts of north Texas received as much as four inches of sleet and ice — a treacherous situation for drivers and travelers.

At least three storm-related deaths were reported in the Dallas area Saturday and Sunday, according to police reports reviewed by the Dallas Morning News. A 26-year-old man died after his car hit an icy patch and slammed into a tree; a 75-year-old woman died after slipping on some ice in her yard; and a woman in her mid-40s was found dead in a parking lot, possibly due to exposure to the cold, police said.

In Wisconsin, where some areas were expected to get six inches of snow  Sunday, at least two drivers died on snowy roads, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.



Multiple traffic pileups were reported. One such accident near Racine, Wis., sent state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, a possible Democratic candidate for governor, to the hospital, according a posting on her Facebook page.

Americans who were lucky enough to stay home during the chilly, snowy, icy late-autumn weather could watch it on television. Several NFL games continued even as heavy snow obscured the field. Groundskeepers plowed out a strip every 10 yards so players would have some gauge of their position. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore were hit especially hard.

The National Weather Service said some areas of the northeast received at least eight inches of snow.

“It’s going to be hazardous traveling tonight, and we’re looking at more rain on the way, and it could freeze on contact,” said Kevin Witt, a National Weather Service meteorologist for the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area.

Witt said that rather than a single storm sweeping up the East Coast, a series of smaller disturbances have been bringing waves of trouble, especially as moisture in the area combines with freezing temperatures.

“We have not been above freezing for quite some time, so freezing rain is a definite threat for us even as the snow starts to move away,” Witt said, adding: “We’re already getting some reports of rain and freezing rain mixing in.”

Almost 400 flights were canceled going in and out of Washington, D.C.-area airports Sunday, with more than 300 others reported canceled at Philadelphia International Airport as of Sunday afternoon, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.

Read more at latimes.com

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