A massive winter storm that left parts of the southeastern United States in a deep freeze was pushing up the East Coast Sunday, with snow and ice snarling road travel and forcing another round of airline cancellations.
The storm system dropped between 3 and 6 inches of snow on West Virginia early Sunday before blanketing the Washington, D.C., metro area with its first accumulation of the season.
Marching north, it was expected to pummel the East Coast with snow, sleet, and freezing rain from Baltimore to north of Portland, Maine, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm system coated roads and highways from Virginia through southeastern Pennsylvania with snow and ice, and reduced visibility made car travel treacherous. The Delaware Memorial Bridge, which links Delaware with New Jersey, was closed briefly “due to ice and multiple accidents,” according to the bridge’s official Twitter account.
Parts of Maryland, Delaware and southern New Jersey could get up to a foot of snow, said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.Flights to and from Philadelphia International were temporarily grounded, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The storm system closed in on New York City and could linger over the tri-state area through Monday morning’s rush hour commute.
The New York City Department of Sanitation issued a “snow alert” starting Sunday afternoon, and was preparing salt spreaders and plows to clear covered roads.
An expected 1 to 3 inches of snowfall in Philadelphia and New York City would be the first of the season, and comes about 10 days earlier than the average first snowfall, according to the National Weather Service.
The snowy, cold weather was also proving a challenge for professional football, with several players injured after slipping while playing on slick fields.
Snow covered the ground and stands at Baltimore’s M&T Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens played the Minnesota Vikings in driving wind and 25-degree Fahrenheit (minus 4 Celsius) conditions. The Philadelphia Eagles took on the Detroit Lions in near white-out conditions.
The blast of cold air and precipitation was also bringing light snowfall to the Midwest, including parts of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.
A number of traffic accidents were reported on Milwaukee-area roads and freeways, including a pileup of as many as 20 cars that shut down a highway in Racine County. In a separate crash, one person was killed after a vehicle flipped over along a slick road, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office said.
Air travelers were also bracing for the worst, with airports in Newark, New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia reporting delays.