A massive and deadly winter storm swirled over the East Coast Friday into Saturday – leaving at least eight dead and stranding thousands on the roads and in airports – with more weather still on the way, CNN, USA Today and Reuters report.
According to The Weather Channel, the storm system should move off the coast Sunday morning before sunrise, and as the skies clear, temperatures will rise above freezing.
“We haven’t turned the corner at all,” Baltimore emergency management director Robert Maloney told CNN. “I wouldn’t say we’re even halfway there yet.”
The storm system is so big, in fact, that it’s hard to overstate its size: According to the Associated Press, one in seven Americans will see six inches of snow from this storm by Sunday, as it stretches from metro Atlanta to Massachusetts.
Washington, D.C., prepared for the chance of a record snowfall of more than 28 inches, according to the BBC.
“I want to be very clear with everybody. This is a major storm,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said, according to Reuters. “This has life-and-death implications and all the residents of the District of Columbia should treat it that way.”
At last eight motorists were reported dead in car crashes during the storm, with six in North Carolina, one in Virginia and one in Kentucky, according to CNN.
Exact fatality numbers have conflicted, and could increase, before the storm abates: The AP reported the death of Stacy Sherrill, “whose car plummeted off an icy road in Tennessee.”
“Her husband survived after climbing for hours up a 300-foot embankment,” the AP reports.
While more than 85 million people across 20 states were under a winter weather warning, according to Reuters, citing The Weather Channel, the storm’s effects varied wildly, with the heaviest snowfall and winds concentrated in D.C. and further north.
(Metro Atlanta, infamously paralyzed by a few inches of snow during a storm in 2014, avoided a repeat on Friday.)
The storm system also brought strong winds and ice – though no more heavy ice was forecast Saturday, according to The Weather Channel – increasing the likelihood of power outages and other damage.
More than 159,000 people were without power in 13 states, according to CNN, and 150,000 of those were in the Carolinas.
While many residents heeded the emphatic state and local warnings to stay off the roads Friday night and Saturday, others were not so lucky: CNN reported stretches of interstate in Kentucky and Pennsylvania that turned into snarled parking lots.
A 17-year-old student named Claire Jackson described how her school bus full of students, on their way from D.C. to Kansas City, Missouri, had been in an “absolute standstill” since Friday night at 8.
“I just see cars,” Jackson said. “All the hazards are blinking.”
Not going anywhere? The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as “the Old Guard,” who stand watch at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
They stood guard Friday during the storm’s start and were expected to keep their post through the weekend, according to NBC New York.