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   BOSTON (AP) — Snow blowers whirred and shovels scraped across sidewalks as the Northeast tried to keep up with a winter storm that swirled up the coast, creating blizzard conditions on Cape Cod, disrupting government work in Washington and leaving behind it bitter Canadian cold that sapped fuel supplies.
   The huge storm stretched from Kentucky to New England but hit hardest along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston. Snow began falling midmorning Tuesday in Philadelphia and had dumped as much as 13.5 inches by midnight, with New York seeing almost as much. Manalapan, N.J., had the highest snowfall reading with 16 inches.
   The storm, which dropped nearly a foot of snow in parts of Massachusetts, promised to create headaches for motorists in Boston on Wednesday morning. Commuters in Philadelphia and New York had packed early trains or spent hours inching along roads in swirling darkness to get home the night before.
   The New Yorkers and Bostonians who normally swarm Cape Cod in fishing hats or bikinis in July and August wouldn't recognize it this week. A blizzard warning through Wednesday afternoon kept business brisk at Aubuchon Hardware in Sandwich, where salt and snow shovels were popular.
   "The flow of customers is pretty steady, but everyone waits until the worst of the storm to start worrying," manager Jeff Butland said.
   Boston ordered schools closed Wednesday, following the lead the day before of many districts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. Federal workers in Washington also got a snow day Tuesday.
   Nearly 3,000 commercial flights were canceled Tuesday into and out of some of the nation's busiest airports, including in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, where Logan Airport advised passengers to expect extremely limited domestic service at least through Wednesday morning.
   At New York's LaGuardia Airport, congested even on a good day, a television monitor displayed a litany of canceled flights. Crowds of people who had been hoping to fly out instead gathered around ticket counters trying to make alternate arrangements.
   "We don't expect to get out here till 6 p.m. maybe, tomorrow," Paula Black said Tuesday after her flight to Chicago was canceled.
   Amtrak told passengers on its busiest line, the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston, to expect fewer trains. Lines serving Harrisburg, Pa., and Albany, N.Y., also were slowed.
   The storm put a damper on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's inauguration, forcing the cancellation of a Tuesday evening gala on Ellis Island. In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick postponed his annual State of the State address, saying he was worried about guests trying to get to the Statehouse.
   On I-95, one of the nation's busiest highways, traffic was bumper to bumper Tuesday evening north of New York City, where some people simply gave up and tried to navigate side streets, creating another traffic jam in suburban New Rochelle.
   "I just want to get to the Bronx," Peter Neuwens said. "It's a big place. Why can't I get there?"
   The storm was a conventional one that developed off the coast and moved its way up the Eastern Seaboard, pulling in cold air from the Arctic. Unlike the epic freeze of two weeks ago, it was not caused by a kink in the polar vortex, the winds that circulate around the North Pole.
   Nonetheless, overnight temperatures in the single digits were expected in Philadelphia and New York, with wind chills dipping into the negative teens.
   The newest wave of cold air helped to deplete fuel supplies and send prices for propane and natural gas to record highs. Higher natural gas prices also are leading to sharply higher wholesale electricity prices as power utilities snap up gas at almost any price to run power plants to meet higher-than-normal winter demand.
   Propane users will get pinched the most. Those who find themselves suddenly needing to fill their tanks could be paying $100 to $200 more per fill-up than a month ago. Homeowners who use natural gas and electricity will see higher heating bills because they'll use more fuel. But prices won't rise dramatically because utilities buy only a small portion of the fuel at the elevated prices.
   The storm was blamed for at least one death in Maryland, after a car fishtailed into the path of a tractor-trailer on a snow-covered road about 50 miles northwest of Baltimore and the car's driver was ejected. Police said the storm might have claimed more lives: A preliminary investigation showed wet conditions played a role in a two-vehicle crash that killed two people in Prince George's County, Md.
Published in National News
   BOSTON (AP) — A blustering post-Christmas snowstorm that has dropped nearly 2 feet of snow just north of Boston, shut down major highways in New York and forced U.S. airlines to cancel thousands of flights nationwide is continuing its bitter cold journey through the Northeast.
   The brutal weather — which brought plummeting temperatures to some areas that forecasters predicted could see highs just above zero and wind chill readings of minus 10 degrees and colder by early Friday — dumped 21 inches of snow in Boxford, Mass., late Thursday night and 18 inches in parts of western New York near Rochester. In Central Park early Friday, the National Weather Service said just over 3 inches of snow had fallen.
   The snowfall, frigid cold and stiff winds extended Christmas break for some students while posing the first test for New York City's new mayor and perhaps the last challenge for Boston's outgoing one.
   U.S. airlines canceled more than 2,300 flights due to snowfall and low visibility.
   "It's been a tough road," said traveler Heather Krochuk, of Toronto, Canada, inside a Boston hotel Thursday night after her flight home out of Logan International Airport got canceled in what's turned into a 36-hour trip from Seattle, where she spent Christmas with her husband, Ron.
   But, she said, "we have a place to sleep that isn't the airport."
   Snow began falling overnight Wednesday in parts of New England and New York state, but the brunt of the storm began late Thursday.
   The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Cape Cod, coastal areas north and south of Boston and part of Maine as well as New York's Long Island.
   Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said state offices that closed early Thursday would remain closed on Friday. He said National Guard members and state police were on standby for any high tide flooding in vulnerable coastal areas, but no mandatory evacuations had been ordered.
   New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered three major highways in his state, stretching from Long Island to Albany, closed overnight. The highways were expected to reopen at 5 a.m. Friday.
   As of late Thursday in Connecticut, about 3 inches of snow had fallen in Hartford County, and 3 inches were reported in East Hartford and Simsbury. Parts of New Hampshire had 5.5 inches, and areas of Rhode Island had more than 2.
   Outreach teams looked to get homeless people off the frigid streets of New York City and Boston.
   Staff members at the Pine Street Inn were keeping the Boston shelter open 24 hours and said they would turn no one away, even if it meant setting up extra cots in lobbies and other common areas.
   The heavy weather began rolling in just a day after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was sworn in to lead the nation's largest city and a few days before Boston Mayor Thomas Menino ends 20 years in office on Monday.
   De Blasio, who as public advocate in 2010 criticized his predecessor Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his handling of a large snowstorm, dispatched hundreds of plows and salt spreaders on the streets as soon as the snow started falling Thursday night. Forecasters said that while only 3 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park by early Friday, up to 8 inches were still expected in the city.
   "If you don't need to go out, please don't go out," de Blasio said at a press conference Thursday evening, urging residents to use mass transit. "Stay off the streets, stay out of your cars."
   Across the region, state and local police were busy responding to accidents and reports of stranded vehicles.
   Amtrak planned to run trains on all of its Northeast lines on Friday but operate on a modified schedule, spokeswoman Christina Leeds said.
   As the storm approached, a worker at a suburban Philadelphia salt storage facility was killed when a 100-foot-tall pile of road salt fell and crushed him. Falls Township police said the man was trapped while operating a backhoe. There was no word on what may have caused the accident.
   Douglass Bibule shopped for rock salt and other supplies at a home improvement store in Watertown, N.Y.
   "Well, there will be some shoveling that I will have to do and some sanding," he said. "I've got to go home and do some stretching exercises to make sure I don't hurt myself while doing that, and do a little shopping to make sure that we have all the supplies that we need. We need food because we have three older children at home."
   The snowstorm worked its way east from the Midwest, where it dropped up to a foot of snow on Michigan and more than a foot in parts of Illinois, prompting the cancellation Thursday of hundreds of flights at both Chicago airports.
   Nearly 17 inches of snow fell in some of Chicago's northern suburbs, and more than 12 inches of snow was recorded at Midway International Airport.
Published in National News
Monday, 25 March 2013 06:42

Sunday snow was a record breaker

It probably won't come as a surprise to many in the metro area, but the spring snowstorm that blanketed St. Louis Sunday set a record. It was the deepest one-day snowfall in March according to the National Weather Service.

The official snow total at Lambert Airport was 12.4 inches, beating the old record by three-tenths of an inch, and snow is still falling this morning.

That old record of 12.1 inches dates back to March 24, 1912.
Published in Around Town
Monday, 25 March 2013 04:47

Sunday snow was a record breaker

It probably won't come as a surprise to many in the metro area, but the spring snowstorm that blanketed St. Louis Sunday set a record. It was the deepest one-day snowfall in March according to the National Weather Service.

The official snow total at Lambert Airport was 12.4 inches, beating the old record by three-tenths of an inch, and snow is still falling this morning.

That old record of 12.1 inches dates back to March 24, 1912.
Published in Local News
Winter Storm Virgil hit the entire region hard on Sunday.

By 4:50 PM, areas like O'Fallon, St. Peters, St. Charles, and Florissant, Missouri were all reporting over 10" of snow. That total is expected to continue to rise overnight, with the possibility of another inch on Monday.

MoDOT officials urge drivers to remain cautious through the Monday morning rush.

EARLIER:

The entire area is under either a Winter Storm Warning or Advisory until midnight Sunday. Snow has been falling very quickly along with blowing snow, making travel hazardous. Winds are 10-30mph. The Missouri Department of Transportation had 200 crews out overnight preparing roads for icy conditions. Snow crews with IDOT have been doing the same.

Snowfall totals will be greater in the northern sections of the listening area. 2"-4" is expected in southern counties, up to 8" in the metro area, with up to 11" in northern counties.

Lambert Airport is also under a Winter Storm Warning. As of 11:15 AM 38 Arriving flights have been canceled. 40 Departing flights have been canceled.

Snow flurries could continue until Monday morning. School closings are posted here on our website on our home page.

Tune into the Big 550 for weather updates starting at 5am with Farmer Dave Schumacher and then through morning drive with McGraw in the Morning. Tim Wilund will provide continuous traffic updates, Fox 2 Meteorologist Glenn Zimmerman with your weather and the KTRS News team providing conditions from around the listening area for your Monday morning and afternoon commute.

To report a power outage in Missouri or Illinois, call the following numbers: Ameren Illinois: 1-800-755-5000 Ameren Missouri: 1-800-552-7583
Published in Local News
Friday, 22 March 2013 10:25

Winter Storm Watch issued for St. Louis

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch in effect from late Saturday night through Sunday evening. Precipitation will initially overspread the area late Saturday afternoon and evening and will be in the form of rain. As colder air builds southward Saturday night. The rain will change to snow and become heavy at times, especially after midnight. Snow will then continue through much of the day on Sunday. Accumulations will be 5 to 8 inches of snow possible with locally higher amounts. Here are more weather stats from the National Weather Service: Winds: North 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Impact: Snow will have the potential to not only accumulate on roads but accumulate at a rapid pace. the snowfall will likely greatly reduce visibilities at times and result in snow packed and slick roads...making travel hazardous. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A winter storm watch is advanced notice that severe winter weather is possible in the watch area. It does not mean it is a certainty. Those in the watch area should begin preparing in case the storm does materialize. If you have travel planned...you may want to adjust your travel time to avoid the storm. Also, you should use this advanced notice to make certain your vehicle is winterized. Make preparations at home by stocking emergency supplies, such as food, medicine and extra heating fuel, just in case the storm makes travel impossible. This is especially important for those living in rural areas.
Published in Around Town
Friday, 22 March 2013 06:42

Winter Storm Watch issued for St. Louis

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch in effect from late Saturday night through Sunday evening. Precipitation will initially overspread the area late Saturday afternoon and evening and will be in the form of rain. As colder air builds southward Saturday night. The rain will change to snow and become heavy at times, especially after midnight. Snow will then continue through much of the day on Sunday. Accumulations will be 5 to 8 inches of snow possible with locally higher amounts. Here are more weather stats from the National Weather Service: Winds: North 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Impact: Snow will have the potential to not only accumulate on roads but accumulate at a rapid pace. the snowfall will likely greatly reduce visibilities at times and result in snow packed and slick roads...making travel hazardous. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A winter storm watch is advanced notice that severe winter weather is possible in the watch area. It does not mean it is a certainty. Those in the watch area should begin preparing in case the storm does materialize. If you have travel planned...you may want to adjust your travel time to avoid the storm. Also, you should use this advanced notice to make certain your vehicle is winterized. Make preparations at home by stocking emergency supplies, such as food, medicine and extra heating fuel, just in case the storm makes travel impossible. This is especially important for those living in rural areas.
Published in Local News

City, County and State crews continue to work this morning to clear the roads for the morning rush.  While most major school districts in the St. Louis area have already canceled class for today, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says he's confident most major arteries will be clear.  Slay says it's the back roads that may still be dangerous. "The residential streets will be a problem for some time, it will depend on the weather and the temperature in particular."

Much of the reported trouble spots this morning are on the exit and entrance ramps to highways as well as spots on north and southbound I-270 past I-64 where cars remain stranded on the roadway.  For complete road conditions and closings and cancellations visit KTRS.com.

llinois road crews have been working hard overnight to clear the roads as well, and IDOT engineer Joseph Monroe explains why it's been difficult for crews to keep up. Monroe says, "Normally in a snow event without any blowing or drifting you figure the first inch of snow takes two hours to clean up and then each inch takes an additional hour. That's just a rule of thumb. If you see it get way out of line, you go looking for problems." 

Nearly 6 inches of sleet and snow fell around the St. Louis area Thursday. Stranded vehicles made clearing the roads even more difficult. 

THE STORM SYSTEM 

Our major snow storm that shuttered airports here in Missouri, stranded truckers in Illinois and buried parts of Kansas in knee-deep powder is moving northeast with the likelihood of more punishing snow, ice and wind.

Gusts up to 30 mph are expected to churn-up snow that fell overnight in southern Wisconsin, where forecasters were warning Milwaukee-area residents of slick roads and reduced visibility. The same was expected in northeast Iowa.

Published in Local News

If you were planning to fly out of Lambert  your connecting flight could be affected.

More than 2,100 flights nationwide already have been canceled for today because of the big snowstorm that's threatening the Northeast. Additional flights have been canceled through tomorrow. 

The website FlightAware says United Airlines has scrapped some 900 flights for today, Delta has canceled 740 and American Airlines, about 200. The airports with the most cancellations are in the New York area and in Boston. Airlines have issued waivers that allow affected passengers to change their travel date without paying a change fee.

 
Published in Local News
BOSTON (AP) - Schools across New England have closed and thousands of flights have been scratched as the Northeast hunkers down for a storm poised to dump up to 2 feet of snow.

The snow is expected to start this morning, with the heaviest amounts falling at night and into Saturday. Wind gusts could reach 75 mph. Widespread power failures were feared, along with flooding in coastal areas still recovering from Superstorm Sandy in October.

Boston could get more than 2 feet of snow, while New York City was expecting 10 to 14 inches. To the south, Philadelphia was looking at a possible 4 to 6 inches.

Amtrak says its Northeast trains will stop running this afternoon.

In New England, it could prove to be among the top 10 snowstorms in history.
Published in National News
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