More than half a million Southerners have been left without power after major sleet and snow that left North Carolina drivers stranded on icy roads yesterday—and now that storm system could bring more than a foot of snow to parts of the Northeast, the AP reports. In fact, forecasters are saying this could be the worst storm of the season so far for the already storm-weary Northeast. The latest:
- The Philadelphia area could see a foot or more of snow; Washington, DC, and Boston are expecting about 8 inches; New York City is looking at 6 inches. (CNN has the much more alarming forecast of as many as 15 inches in New York.)
- In DC, the storm has shut down the federal government, schools, bus service, and both area airports, the Washington Post reports. (Philadelphia and New York are experiencing similar closures.) More than 4,400 flights have been canceled across the US today; more than 3,400 were canceled yesterday.
- The weather has been blamed in at least 12 deaths in the South, including a number of traffic accidents and one man in Georgia who spent hours outside and died of hypothermia.
- Much of the South was plagued with icy roads, including Georgia, where state troopers saw more than 200 crashes. At least seven Georgians were hospitalized—in sledding accidents. President Obama declared a disaster in parts of Georgia and South Carolina.
- Some of the more than 545,000 homes and businesses that lost electricity in the South could be without power for days. The Northeast is also expecting prolonged power outages. All in all, the latest count is more than 772,000 customers without power across 14 states and the District of Columbia.