Snowstorm blamed for 30-vehicle pileup on Conn. highway

Connecticut state police responded Saturday to reports of a nearly 30-vehicle pileup on a highway near Hartford.

A snowstorm that was predicted to bring up to 8 inches of snow to the area was being blamed for the crash at exit 21 in the southbound lanes of I-91 in Middletown.

Police said no one was seriously injured. The pileup involved at least 20 cars, three tractor-trailers and a tanker.

I-91 was shut in both directions from exit 20 to exit 25 after the accident, MassLive.com reported.

Police snapped photos of the crash aftermath and posted them on Facebook and Twitter.

© Connecticut State Police. Snowstorm blamed for 30-vehicle pileup on Connecticut highway

Seventy two MILLION are under winter storm warning: Three dead as Northeast is hit by blizzards, thousands left without power in the South while California braces for conditions 'not seen for a decade'

Snow and sleet pounded a large swath of the East Coast on Saturday, killing three and coating roads with ice and causing hundreds of crashes. 

In Kentucky a man died when his pickup truck went off a snow-slickened road Thursday.

The Weather Channel reported that two other deaths in Oregon and Maine have also been blamed on the weather.
Thousands of people lost power and forecasters warned of blizzard-like conditions from Virginia to parts of the Northeast.

An estimated 73million Americans from as far north as Maine and as far south as Mississippi are under winter weather storm warnings, according to NBC.

Of the lower 48 states, 19 are now being affected by either winter storm warnings or advisories.
The snow storm, Helena, is gradually moving toward the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, with warnings and advisories in effect along the coasts and up through New England, according to The National Weather Service. 
New York City is expected to see between three and five inches of snow today, while forecasters predict as much as eight inches in Long Island.

Authorities in Connecticut had to shut down Interstate 91 in both directions after a 30-car pileup clogged traffic, according to NBC Connecticut.

Police said the crash near exit 21 involved at least 20 cars, three tractor trailers and a tanker. No serious injuries were reported.

The mayor of Middletown said that fuel tanks from at least two of the trucks ruptured, spilling diesel fuel onto the highway.

State workers were at the scene trying to clean up the spill, the mayor said.

NBC Connecticut is updating a list of local institutions that have closed due to the weather.

Hundreds of flights were canceled, according to NBC, more than 50 flights were canceled at New York JFK and Newark airports early Saturday. Delta canceled 175 flights, most of which were into and out of its hub in Atlanta.

Police investigated several fatal crashes as potentially storm-related, but some of the South's biggest cities — Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh — appeared to avoid the worst of the storm.

Authorities praised residents for learning the lessons of past storms that resulted in icy gridlock, where thousands of people were stranded along the interstates. But officials warned that bitter cold would keep roads treacherous well after the snow and sleet stopped.

'If I tell you anything it would be stay home,' North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. 'Do not go out and drive on the roads unless you absolutely have to.'

Cooper was supposed to have been sworn in Saturday at an outdoor ceremony attended by thousands.
He instead rushed through a 20-minute indoor oath-taking Friday.

'Consider yourselves the chosen few,' Cooper jokingly told family, friends and well-wishers able to attend his swearing-in Friday.

North Carolina cities Burlington, Greensboro and Roxboro received eight inches or more of snow, and several inches fell in southeast Virginia, where a blizzard warning was issued for the cities along the coast.

North Carolina reported more than 250 crashes, while Virginia had more than 100.

In Charlotte alone, 35 accidents were reported since 10pm on Friday, according to NBC News.
Hundreds of crashes were reported in Tennessee starting Friday.

Some of these were fender benders involving school buses driving along roads that were covered by up to two inches of snow.

Power outages had grown to about 25,000 in North Carolina alone, according to a news release from the governor. Nearly half were in the Charlotte area and adjacent Union County, according to Duke Power.

In Cornelius, north of Charlotte, Matt Thomas said he used a ruler to measure nearly six inches of snow and sleet that had piled up on the back of his pickup truck. He planned to spend the weekend enjoying the snow and watching television. A plow passed through his neighborhood, but the road still looked slippery.

'The sleet started first, so there's definitely a layer of ice under the snow,' he said by phone. 'I'm staying home.'
The unpredictable storm left some areas with much different outcomes than neighboring counties. Unofficial totals from the National Weather Service showed that much of Raleigh and Charlotte had two inches or less of precipitation — much of it sleet — while areas to the north of both cities got several inches of snow.

In Atlanta and parts of Georgia, people who were expecting a couple of inches of snow instead woke up to a thin coat of ice. Still, it didn't stop children from sliding down slick grassy hills in what is a once- or twice-a-year icy occurrence.

Some took to social media to complain that they didn't have anything to sled in, prompting an apologetic Tweet from one well-known Raleigh weatherman.

'To all my detractors, more than 24 hours ago I began talking about how this snow event could go up in smoke. I try to be honest-all I can do,' WRAL-TV chief meteorologist Greg Fishel said early Saturday.

A blizzard warning for southeast Virginia accompanied forecasts of high winds and up to nine inches of snow there. The National Weather Service had already measured nearly six inches of snow at its post in Wakefield on Saturday.

Even with snow coating Virginia Beach roads, diners and staff made it to the popular breakfast spot Citrus.

'When there's bad weather, people come out,' manager Tara Junke said. 'I've worked in restaurants for 20 years in Hampton Roads and we've never shut down for snow.'

Chris Turner, 58, a health care analyst sitting at the counter with a mug of tea, said he drove seven miles to his usual breakfast spot, aided by four-wheel drive.

'It's fun to enjoy mother nature in all her glory,' he said. 'I'd rather be out. I can't stay at home.'


Snowstorm blamed for 30-vehicle pileup on Connecticut highway, wreaks havoc across US

Connecticut state police responded Saturday to reports of a nearly 30-vehicle pileup on a highway near Hartford.

A snowstorm that was predicted to bring up to 8 inches of snow to the area was being blamed for the crash at exit 21 in the southbound lanes of I-91 in Middletown.

Police said no one was seriously injured. The pileup involved at least 20 cars, three tractor-trailers and a tanker.

I-91 was shut in both directions from exit 20 to exit 25 after the accident, teroes.com reported.

Police snapped photos of the crash aftermath and posted them on Facebook and Twitter.

In Virginia, authorities say slick roads have caused more than 500 crashes, including one that was fatal. State Police Spokeswoman Corinne Geller said a man's SUV struck another vehicle, then ran off the road and overturned in a creek.

The snow has moved out of Virginia, but police say driving conditions remain dangerous and are encouraging people to stay off the roads.

Winter weather and potentially dangerous road conditions led officials to postpone the men's college basketball game between 14th-ranked North Carolina and North Carolina State that was scheduled for Saturday night.

Up to 8 inches of snow were expected in parts of Connecticut, but areas along the southeastern Massachusetts coast could get 1 to 2 feet before the storm moves away later Saturday.

Blizzard conditions were reported on Cape Cod and Plymouth County. Officials warned people to stay off the roads as the heavy snow and gusty winds were expected to reduce visibility to near zero.

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