Vehicles sustain damage after a chain-reaction pileup on Interstate 75 in Campbell County, Tenn., Sunday.
Jerry Owens, WBIR-TV via AP
Storm dumps snow on South, heads out to sea
- Associated Press
- February 20, 2012 - 5:42 AM
RICHMOND, Va. - A winter storm that dumped several inches of snow across parts of the South, causing power outages, slippery roads and numerous accidents during the Presidents Day holiday weekend, moved out to sea Monday.
Crews were working to restore power to tens of thousands of households that lost electricity as a result of the storm.
The storm brought as much as 9 inches of snow to some areas on Sunday as it powered its way from Kentucky and Tennessee to West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. The storm system was expected to push off the coast early Monday, with the nation's capital getting only snow flurries, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm hit toward the end of what has been an otherwise mild winter in the region.
In northern Tennessee, about 20 vehicles were involved in crashes along a three-mile stretch of Interstate 75 near the Kentucky border on Sunday afternoon.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Stacy Heatherly said the crashes were reported shortly before 2 p.m. in near "white-out" conditions caused by heavy snowfall and fog. Police said a youth was seriously injured. All lanes of Interstate 75 had reopened by early evening.
Dozens of wrecks were also reported in North Carolina as snow, sleet and rain fell with little accumulation, according to The Winston-Salem Journal.
In Virginia, the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 were shut down following a two-vehicle crash that critically injured one man, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The accident was reported at about 6:20 p.m. on I-95 near the interchange with Interstate 295 in Prince George County. The male driver of one vehicle suffered life-threatening injuries, and an adult male passenger in the same vehicle also was hospitalized.
Snow began sticking in the Richmond area after dark, and Virginia State Police had responded to about 700 crashes as of 10 p.m.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that only an inch or two of snow had fallen north of Interstate 85 in North Carolina, though more was expected close to the Virginia line.
The weather service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Raleigh-Durham area until 9 a.m. Monday. Officials were advising motorists to use caution when driving in the morning, as some return to work and others travel on Presidents Day.
Wet snow also downed power lines. Appalachian Power was reporting that 52,000 customers were without power Sunday night in central and southern Virginia, as well as in West Virginia. Dominion Energy was reporting another 16,000 outages, mostly in the Richmond, Va., area and Shenandoah Valley. Kentucky Power said 23,000 households were without power Sunday night.
Nick Fillo, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service's Blacksburg, Va., office, said 5 to 8 inches of snow fell in the Blue Ridge Mountains, while about 3 to 6 inches fell on that state's Piedmont region.
"This was our first real winter storm," Fillo said.
The weather service said late Sunday that the snowfall was "diminishing in both intensity and coverage" and would end Monday morning.
Fillo said a low-pressure system would be coming out of the Rockies this week, bringing snow to the Great Lakes area but not significantly affecting the South.
Associated Press writer Rebecca Yonker in Louisville, Ky., contributed to this report.
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