Winter storm Hercules continues to flex its muscles, dumping well over a foot of snow in places, sparking states of emergency, and bringing with it freezing temperatures and the threat of hypothermia. Experts warn that even shoveling your driveway can be dangerous. The latest:
- It seems the warning of up to a foot of snow might have been wishful thinking for some: Nearly two feet fell in some areas, including 21 inches in Boxford, Mass. (that's about 30 miles north of Boston), and 18 inches near both Gurnee, Ill., and Rochester, NY, as of early this morning, Weather Underground and the AP report.
- NBC News notes winter weather and wind chill warnings have been in effect in at least 22 states, affecting more than 100 million people from Chicago through the New York tri-state area into New England. Both New York and New Jersey have declared states of emergency.
- Along with the 2,000 flights cancelled yesterday, another 1,350 have been grounded today, according to NBC News. JFK Airport this morning suspended flights because of zero visibility; Boston's Logan is effectively non-operational as well.
- A meteorologist told NBC that some areas in the Midwest could see chilling temperatures not recorded since the mid-1980s. "People that are vulnerable are really going to be hurting," added one. The cold could be bad news for road crews and homeowners: Snow-melting salt stops working between 10 and 20 degrees.
- And a second icy wave is coming, expected to hit the Midwest on Sunday and Monday then move east. It's going to be seriously cold, with an expected high in Chicago on Monday of -8.
- Plenty of kids are getting an extended holiday today, with schools, including all public schools in Boston and New York City, closed throughout the region.
- But Pennsylvania saw a storm-related tragedy: A salt yard worker prepping for the storm was killed when a 100-foot pile of rock salt buried him.