Snow fell across much of New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, with freezing rain and ice causing treacherous travel south in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Precipitation is expected to end Friday evening.
Similar conditions have led to the deaths of at least seven people across the country, including two in New Mexico, and others reported in Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Alabama during what forecasters determined was a likely tornado.
More than 3 feet of snow piled up in part of New Mexico. In the Midwest, more than a foot of snow fell in several states, with some areas in the Chicago metro area experiencing up to 11 inches, forecasters said.
The vast weather system – which stretched about 2,000 miles from the Rockies to New England – also created an ice storm that brought dangerous conditions from Arkansas to Ohio.
Tennessee still faces more than 100,000 power outages after ice storms and flood threats.
Meanwhile in Texas, more than 15,000 homes and businesses were in the dark Friday afternoon.
Gov. Greg Abbott said in a Thursday briefing that the grid has “a lot of power available right now,” calling the weather “one of the most significant icing events we’ve had in the state. of Texas for at least several decades”. “
The path of the storm as it heads northeast
New York Governor Kathy Hochul urged residents to stay home due to icy road conditions.
“This storm is throwing everything at us – we’ve got snow, we’ve got freezing rain, we’ve got sleet, we’ve got icy roads,” Hochul said. “Our best advice is just to stay off the roads. They are absolutely dangerous.”
The governor said most severe weather activity is expected to subside by Friday evening, adding, “But, until then, it will literally be a day full of freezing rain.”
Dangerous road conditions are expected to make travel difficult on Friday, the NWS said, warning that power outages are also possible.
Ice projections are highest in Providence, Rhode Island, and sleet can accumulate up to a tenth of an inch.
“The interior portions of New England will see mostly snowfall, with northeastern New York, northern Vermont, northern New Hampshire and much of Maine seeing more than a foot of snowfall. additional snow,” CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.
Rochester, New York, had already seen 10 inches of snowfall, with the possibility of another 4 to 8 inches.
Rain and snow records broken
In the South, more than two million people are under flood watch in parts of North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
“Wide wind chills in Texas are expected to be as low as -5, but there are reports of wind chills as low as -15,” Shackelford said.
Governor Abbott again assured Texans on Friday that the power supply would not run out.
The grid hit peak demand at 69,000 megawatts on Friday morning; However, the system now has a surplus of 17,000 megawatts, enough energy to power 3 million homes across the state, he said in a briefing. This should last at least until Friday and Saturday.
“Texas’ power grid is more reliable and resilient than it’s ever been,” Abbott said.
State officials at the press conference asked motorists to stay off the road as the ice is “stubborn” in many areas and black ice remains a problem.
Since the icing began, state troopers have responded to more than 416 crashes that resulted in 49 serious injuries and three fatalities, officials said.
Treacherous ice conditions in Texas turned a stretch of I-10 near the town of Kerrville, northwest of San Antonio, into a parking lot, with a mile-long line of vehicles waiting for hours as two crashed be resolved. .
Overnight, two separate 18-wheelers jackknifed on I-10, one near mile marker 501 eastbound and the other near mile marker 513 westbound, due to ice on the road, Kerr County emergency coordinator William B. Thomas told CNN.
Notable records were set on Thursday:
- Dallas broke its daily record for snowfall, with a total of 1.5 inches, surpassing the previous record of 0.2 set in 1956 and 2011
- North Little Rock, Arkansas received 3.2 inches of snow – a daily record, surpassing the previous 0.1 inch set in 1980
- Indianapolis saw a record snowfall of 7.3 inches, beating the 6.5 inches that fell in 1982
- Louisville, Kentucky received 1.51 inches of rainfall, breaking 1.29 inches in 1887
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania tied its 1.02 inch rainfall record set in 1939
Storm brings heavy rain, ice, tornado trouble and travel havoc
The steady rainfall has led to flash flood warnings or flood watches in parts of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
In Alabama, there were tornado watches in 14 counties, and the National Weather Service said it observed a tornado in Elmore County in east-central Alabama.
The other two reported storm-related deaths occurred in New Mexico. A person died when a vehicle slid off a snow-covered road and flipped more than 100 feet into a mountain in Bernalillo County, while a man was killed in a chain-reaction crash on the Interstate 40 in Guadalupe County, officials said.
Artemis Moshtaghian, Raja Razek, Andy Rose, Judson Jones, Steve Almasy, Holly Yan, Joe Sutton, Dave Hennen, Greg Wallace, Pete Muntean and CNN’s Amanda Watts contributed to this report.