A winter storm that brought snow and ice to the U.S. East Coast moved off-shore on Friday, leaving at least 25 people dead and hundreds of thousands without power and causing a large pileup in Pennsylvania that injured 30 people.
The deaths included a pregnant woman struck by a mini—plow in New York City whose baby was then born by cesarean section and two people killed when they tried to aid a truck driver on a snow—covered interstate in North Carolina.
Across the U.S., this is shaping up as one of the snowiest winters on record. As of early this month, Washington, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, New York and St. Louis had gotten roughly two or three times as much snow as they normally receive at this point in the season.
The snow, sleet and ice that bombarded the South-east on Wednesday brought its ferocity into the North-east on Thursday and Friday.
Numerous traffic accidents involving multiple tractor—trailers and dozens of cars completely blocked one side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Philadelphia on Friday morning and injured 30 people, none seriously. The crashes were reported about five hours after snow ended. Speed restrictions enacted during the storm had been lifted, but motorists say the roadway was coated with ice.
By the time it stopped falling, 22.5 inches of snow was reported in one Pennsylvania County. Parts of upstate New York got up to 27 inches. Washington, D.C., received 9 inches of snow Thursday, while New York City got nearly 10 inches.
The sloppy mix of snow and face—stinging sleet grounded more than 6,500 flights nationwide on Thursday and about 2,100 more on Friday. About 1.2 million utility customers lost power as the storm moved from the South through the Northeast, dropping to about 450,000 outages by Friday morning, mostly in South Carolina and Georgia.
Many schools remained closed Friday in eight states from Virginia to Maine.