The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

February 5, 2010

Snow storm has Mid-Atlantic scrambling for staples



WASHINGTON — Shoppers jammed aisles and emptied stores of milk, bread and shovels ahead of a monster snow storm bearing down Friday on the Mid-Atlantic, with 30 inches or more forecast for the nation’s capital. The federal government sent workers home early and subways ran light as people stayed home.

The region’s second snow storm in less than two months could be “extremely dangerous,” the National Weather Service said. Heavy, wet snow and strong winds would make travel hazardous as the storm gains strength into Friday night.

Two highways deaths were blamed on snow as the storm started in Virginia. Light flakes started falling around noon in downtown D.C. as forecasters warned 30 inches or more of heavy, wet snow, accompanied by powerful winds, could fall through Saturday in Washington, Baltimore and surroundings. It could be the heaviest snowfall since January 1922 in the nation’s capital.

Airlines canceled flights across the region and school districts closed for the day ahead of the winter storm forecast from Virginia and West Virginia across Maryland into southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Some flights at Reagan National Airport were delayed Friday morning. At least 18 afternoon flights were canceled, including those run by Delta and US Airways.

John Dean, 43, of Broken Bow, Okla., was hoping his scheduled 3 p.m. flight to Dallas would not be canceled because his wife has to go on a trip on Sunday. “I gotta get back and take care of the kids, so she’s been greatly concerned” about the weather, he said.

Residents in the Washington area scrambled for food and supplies, but many found they were too late.

Colleen Sport, who just moved to the area from Atlanta, was at the Home Depot in Falls Church, Va.

“I was looking for salt and shovels and of course they’re out,” said Sport, 42. “Now I’m just hoping to get shelving and work inside.”

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