A major winter storm lashed North America on Monday as it cut the US East Coast into Canada, disrupting travel and powering thousands of homes.
According to the website PowerOutage.us, approximately 120,000 US customers were without power at 4:45 p.m. EST (2145 GMT), with the greatest concentration in the mid-Atlantic state of West Virginia and the southeastern states of North and South Carolina and Georgia. . ,
According to flight tracking website FlightAware, more than 1,600 flights in or out of the United States were canceled as of Monday afternoon, in addition to 3,000 the day before.
A winter storm or blizzard warning remains in place for large parts of Canada’s Quebec and Ontario provinces, according to a Canadian government website.
In Toronto, snow of up to 60 centimeters was expected – “a historic storm for the city”, tweeted Anthony Farnell, chief meteorologist for Canadian TV channel Global News.
Many schools were closed, and school buses were no longer operating in the south of Quebec and Ontario, including the Toronto area. Students were due to return to classes on Monday after a holiday break in both provinces.
Monday was a national holiday in the United States, so most schools and many businesses were already closed, although many people usually take the opportunity to visit during the long weekend.
The US National Weather Service (NWS) previously said it expected the storm to “slow down today,” but that snow would continue to fall in upper New York and New England through the evening.
The heaviest snowfall of 0.7 meters (2 feet, 2.5 inches) was recorded in Ashtabula, Ohio, the agency said.
“Significant impacts due to snow, ice, wind and coastal flooding will persist over a large area,” the NWS said in a tweet.
The storm delivered devastating tornadoes in Florida, while in the Carolinas and through the Appalachian Mountains region, icy conditions and gusty winds raised concerns.
Powerful winds toppled trees and caused coastal flooding, with Boston recording a storm surge of 3.6 metres.
Transport was severely disrupted; Drivers were warned of dangerous road conditions and major travel headaches from the southern US state of Arkansas, to Quebec, Canada.
A portion of the busy Interstate Highway I-95 was closed in North Carolina.
In Toronto, police tweeted that they had closed two stretches of highway due to inclement weather, and told drivers to stay at home, “unless it is absolutely necessary.”
“We are seeing many cars have to stop and remove their windshields,” the Quebec Ministry of Transport said in a tweet on Monday morning. “Heavy rain and gusts allow snow to build up despite windshield wipers – all the more reason to stay home!”
US officials also discouraged driving, and many states have prepared teams to deal with emergencies, especially in the South where snow is much less common.
It had already snowed in the northeastern United States earlier this month. When a tornado engulfed the northeast, hundreds of motorists were stranded for more than 24 hours on I-95, a major highway connecting Washington, DC.