Freezing Rain, Blowing Snow, Arctic Temps Bring Travel Woes

DENVER (CBS4) — Hundreds of passengers were delayed at Denver International Airport as a big storm pummels the Northeast.

Cancelled signs were a common sight at DIA on Tuesday morning as passengers with destinations across the U.S. worked to deal with delays and cancellations caused by a heavy snowstorm that stretched along the eastern seaboard.

DIA tweeted that about 95 flights had been cancelled.

Even those who didn’t have a destination in those cities impacted by the storm still dealt with delays and cancellations as airlines struggled to stay on schedule.

10:45 a.m.

Pennsylvania is banning trucks from Interstate 84 as a heavy snowstorm has blanketed the state’s northeastern corner.

Trucks are still allowed on Interstate 81, but authorities are telling truckers they shouldn’t head into New York, where trucks aren’t currently allowed on I-81.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission says as of about 10:30 a.m. there were some 2,400 customers without power from storm-related outages. They were scattered but mostly located in the Philadelphia suburbs.

gettyimages 653250590 Freezing Rain, Blowing Snow, Arctic Temps Bring Travel Woes

People walk the snow and sleet-covered streets of New York on March 14, 2017.
Winter Storm Stella unleashed its fury on much of the northeastern United States on March 14 dropping snow and sleet across the region and leading to school closures and thousands of flight cancellations. Stella, the most powerful winter storm of the season, was forecast to dump up to two feet (60 centimeters) of snow in New York and whip the area with combined with winds of up to 60 miles per hour (95 kilometers per hour), causing treacherous whiteout conditions. But after daybreak the National Weather Service (NWS) revised down its predicted snow accumulation for the city of New York, saying that the storm had moved across the coast.
(credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

The heaviest snow in Pennsylvania fell overnight in a swath from the Gettysburg area near the Maryland line in the south, straight north to New York, and northeast to the Pocono Mountains, the Lehigh Valley and the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre region.

Pittsburgh is missing the brunt of the storm. It’s a rare break this winter for western Pennsylvania, where a series of storms fueled by unfrozen Lake Erie have drawn down supplies of the material the state Department of Transportation spreads on icy roadways.

In the state’s northern tier, nearly 16 inches were reported to the National Weather Service before 9 a.m. in a rural area between Towanda and Mansfield. Farther south, about a foot of snow had fallen in Harrisburg, and about a foot in Bloomsburg.

The state highway department says most of its 2,000 plow trucks and 4,800 operators have been clearing the snowfall over the past day. PennDOT has dispatched mobile equipment teams with five trucks, 10 operators and a supervisor from western Pennsylvania to Scranton, Stroudsburg and the Allentown region.

Highway officials say there haven’t been any major issues on interstates, although trucks have become stuck on ramps along Interstate 78 and Interstate 83.
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9:15 a.m.

The National Weather Service says snow totals from the nor’easter pummeling Pennsylvania might be lower than anticipated in some areas, but that doesn’t mean roads are any less hazardous.

Freezing rain is causing icy conditions Tuesday and travel is still very treacherous, especially along the Interstate 95 corridor, where gusts of up to 40 mph could be expected. Temperatures hovering around freezing are adding to travel woes.

Philadelphia is no longer under a blizzard warning, but many other areas are, including Allentown and communities in the Poconos.

Heavy snow will continue to accumulate through early this afternoon in those areas.
Gusting winds are bringing whiteout conditions and heavy bands of snow could produce 2 to 3 inches per hour in some areas.

Mount Pocono could get as much at 30 inches before 8 p.m. Tuesday.

In Philadelphia, snow totals could reach 6 inches. A wintry mix rain of rain, sleet and snow helped lower initial estimates of a foot or more.
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7:30 a.m.

A sloppy mix of rain, sleet, snow and gusting wind is pummeling eastern Pennsylvania, causing public transportation delays in Philadelphia and slick surfaces on roadways around the region.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says subways are running Tuesday in Philadelphia and regional rail trains are operating on a Saturday schedule. Buses are rolling but many are being detoured.

SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel says with the ice, wind and snow “it’s going to be a tough travel day.”

The state transportation department says trucks are out salting and plowing, but urge drivers not to hit the roads unless absolutely necessary.

The National Weather Service had initially predicted up to a foot of snow in Philadelphia. But rain and sleet could lead to lower snow accumulation.

Many areas in the Lehigh Valley and Poconos remain under a blizzard warning until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
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6 a.m.

The National Weather Service says the dividing line between snow and a wintry mix from a nor’easter pushing through eastern Pennsylvania has moved farther inland, cutting down the anticipated snow accumulation in places like Philadelphia but increasing the chance of icing, making for a slippery travel day.

Meteorologist Sarah Johnson says the dividing line between snow and a mix of snow, sleet and rain has pushed west Tuesday morning, from the New Jersey coast into Philadelphia.

She says that lowers anticipated snow totals, but increases the threat of icing from sleet and freezing rain along the Interstate 95 corridor.

Johnson warns that strong winds are still expected; the I-95 corridor could get wind gusts of up to 40 mph.

Parts of the Lehigh Valley and Poconos had whiteout conditions Tuesday morning due to blowing snow.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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