The East Coast again found itself buried in snow and digging out on Friday, after a fierce winter storm dropped more than two feet of snow in some places Thursday and blanketed cities from Atlanta to Boston.
The town of Pilot, Va., saw the most snow, with 28.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Another round of flight cancellations handed this winter the record for grounded planes, the Associated Press reports. And the massive sweep of the storm brought live across the east coast to a halt. City and state officials urged residents to remain indoors as the storm pushed northward, heaping nine inches of snow on Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, nearly 1o inches on New York and 14 inches on Fairfield, Conn., according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters expect the storm to unleash one last carpet of snow on northern New England before finally subsiding Friday afternoon.
At least 21 deaths have been reported, mostly from traffic accidents along treacherous roads, including one snow plow in New York that struck a pregnant woman dead. Her baby survived an emergency cesarean section and is currently in critical condition, the New York Times reports.
Ice encrusted power lines and fallen branches have left power companies scrambling to restore power to more than half a million homes and businesses, mainly in North Carolina and Georgia according to the Associated Press. And the flight tracking service FlightAware has counted more than 1,000 additional flight cancellations Friday.
And as the storm recedes into the north, the inevitable criticism of public officials follows. This time, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio came under fire for his decision to keep city schools open on Thursday. “Unlike other cities in the country, we don’t shut down in the face of some adversity,” de Blasio said, according to the L.A. Times. But many winter-weary New Yorkers, from fans of a Facebook page calling for a school closure to NBC weatherman Al Roker, argued that with this wintry mix, the only sensible response is to remain indoors.