Brutal storm dumps wintry mix on northeastern interstates

3-4 minutes

Lingering snow across northern New England will gradually wind down on Sunday as snow showers and squalls remain across the Great Lakes.

Motorists were faced with travel difficulties during the long holiday weekend as snow and ice created treacherous driving conditions across the Northeast in cities such as Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.

New York City Emergency Management issued a Travel Advisory for Saturday as a Winter Weather Advisory took effect in the city.

Winter Weather Advisories were issued for northeastern New Jersey, the upper boroughs of New York City, the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, and southern Connecticut, for 2 to 5 inches of snowfall. The advisories have since expired.

Across the New York City metropolitan area, snowfall totals of 1-3 inches were observed by the time the storm departed Saturday night.

By the evening hours of Saturday, areas of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York had accumulated up to 4 inches of snowfall, and Vermont saw up to 2.5 inches of snowfall.

Due to poor road conditions on Saturday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reduced the speed limit on Interstates 90, 86 and 79 in Erie, Crawford, Venango and Mercer counties to 45 mph.

The speed limit was also reduced to 45 mph on I-180 westbound in Pennsylvania and commercial vehicles were limited to use the right lane only.

The National Weather Service in Pennsylvania recorded 1.1 inches of snow in Moon, Pa., early Saturday morning as the quick-hitting storm made its way into the area.

In the wake of the storm, the mountains of northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York could also have 6-12 inches of snow due to lake enhancement.

The Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, which is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere, required escorts for high-profile vehicles due to high winds of almost 50 mph on Saturday morning. Bridge personnel are stationed at both ends of the bridge to give instructions.

Strong winds led to blowing and drifting snow which reduced visibility across portions of the Northeast and led to travel delays and slower clean-up efforts.

Officials asked residents in affected areas to be patient with road crews while they work continuously to move snow off of the roads, and only travel if necessary.

Emergency Personnel responded to hundreds of weather-related travel incidents throughout the weekend. The New Hampshire state police responded to a driver who ran off of the road due to driving too fast in poor road conditions.

Not only was travel impacted for those traveling by road, but air travel was also heavily impacted. Flight delays and cancellations are likely to continue into the weekend as the storm tracks northeastward across the nation.

By Saturday afternoon, nearly 250 flights at O'Hare International Airport had been canceled. Another 92 were canceled at Newark Liberty Airport.

Major transportation hubs including St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, LaGuardia, JFK, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., have also been impacted by this storm, which resulted in delays or cancellations that rippled across the nation as flights struggled to get in and out of airports.

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January 19, 2020

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