Storm snarls travel; power outages persist

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm •  Published: December 9, 2013
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In Washington, cab driver Mahdi Abdi said he had been driving since around midnight and the main roads were clear. But side streets were a different story.

"The small streets, a lot of them are icy," said Abdi, 52. "I don't even go in."

Power outages were reported in Virginia, parts of West Virginia, Maryland and the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area following freezing rain, wet snow and sleet. More than 15,000 customers in Maryland were without power, where the weight of the ice weakened tree limbs that then contacted power lines and other equipment. Some 109,000 customers were without power in Virginia.

Parts of northwest and southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia got snow, while sleet and freezing rain prevailed west and north of Richmond.

The area is in for more wintry weather. The National Weather Service predicted a second storm for the Mid-Atlantic region, with five inches of snow possible Monday night.

At Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, more than 100 flights were canceled, according to FlightStats.com, and crowds were sparse Monday morning as travelers made alternate plans. Some, though, were settling in for a long wait.

Emilio Lobato, 53, his wife Cheri and their daughters Katherine, 12, and Victoria, 10, were forced to spend an extra night in Washington following a long weekend sightseeing trip. Their flight home Sunday to Jacksonville, Fla., was canceled, and on Monday, the best they could do was a late-afternoon flight to Tampa, across the state.

"My daughter said it would be great to see some snow," Lobato said. "You know what they say: Be careful what you wish for."

"These kids are good travelers," he said. "It's part of the hazards of being a tourist," Lobato said. "They've got homework and books, and maybe they'll break out in some Christmas carols."

___

Contributors to this report included: Michael Rubinkam in northeastern Pennsylvania, Dan Gelston in Philadelphia, Steve Szkotak in Richmond, Va., Matthew Barakat in Falls Church, Va., Jessica Gresko and Ben Nuckols in Washington, Samantha Henry in Newark, N.J., Diana Heidgerd in Dallas and David Koenig in Fort Worth, Texas.

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