East Coast snowfall predictions increase to 2 feet

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | Friday, January 22, 2016

Much of the eastern United States is expected to receive 2 feet of snow or more over the weekend.

Louis W. Uccellini, director of the National Weather Service, described the storm as “potentially paralyzing” on Thursday, Jan. 21, and said it could affect more than 50 million people. The storm could lead to blizzard-like conditions, floods and power outages.

North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Tennessee and Washington, D.C., are among the places that have already declared a “state of emergency” in the wake of the storm.

A blizzard warning is in effect for Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., and parts of New York and New Jersey are under a blizzard watch. Concern for flooding along the Jersey Shore is high. Uccellini said there is also potential for severe weather in east Texas, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Uccellini projected on Thursday 12-16 inches of snow in some parts of the East Coast and mid-Atlantic for the weekend. By Friday, the National Weather Service was predicting that snowfall totals could exceed 2 feet in some areas, including Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

David Mariano, an OOIDA member who hauls general freight for Green Day Transport in Kearny, N.J., already knows where he’s going to be this weekend.

“I’ll be home,” Mariano said on Friday. “There is no reason to go out and risk your life in this weather. And it’s not just us. You have to think about the other people on the road as well. In weather like this, stay home and be safe. If you don’t make money this weekend, you’re not going to die. Some people say, ‘I have to make money.’ But it’s not worth risking a life. Send the message to every driver that they shouldn’t deliver unless it’s safe.

“I’m going back home for the weekend, and then I’ll check to see if it’s safe to go back to work on Monday.”

A winter storm warning was in effect Friday afternoon for western Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, southern Illinois, southeastern Missouri, Kentucky, southwestern Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware and Georgia. Travel could be affected in all those areas. 

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