Record-breaking Blizzard Threatens Thirty Million People on the East Coast
30,000,000 people on the East Coast are bracing themselves tonight for one of the heaviest snowstorms ever to hit America. Ray has the story right now. Join him to hear it.
Thirty million people on the East Coast are bracing themselves tonight for one of the heaviest snowstorms ever to hit America. A severe snowstorm began to drift toward the East Coast on Thursday as the National Weather Service added the New York City and Philadelphia areas to a blizzard watch already in place for Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland. An inch of snow has already fallen in several areas and continues to fall.
The storm, which started to form in parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, created icy conditions that snarled traffic and left two dead in North Carolina. The ominous forecast caused officials in Mid-Atlantic States to urge residents to stay off the roads and hunker down when the worst of the weather begins on Friday. T The Baltimore Airport will be closed starting Friday he Washington Metro subway system and its bus service will also shut down for the weekend starting Friday night.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, urged residents to use mass transit or stay at home as much as possible on Saturday and Sunday, when the worst parts of the storm are expected to cause severe winds and drop between 24 to 30 inches of snow. A blizzard watch issued on Thursday for the New York area and parts of Long Island and New Jersey is forecast to begin on Saturday morning and will last until Sunday afternoon.
The agency issued a blizzard warning for the region from 3 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Sunday.
In a somewhat ominous sign, people in Washington and Baltimore had been struggling Wednesday night, after the inch of snow effectively brought traffic to a standstill on many major streets and highways. Routine commutes lasted up to three hours and some people abandoned their cars, after the inch fell – a fraction of what is expected on Friday and Saturday.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted an apology to her constituents, saying that officials had “failed to deploy the necessary resources in response to the snow – for that I am sorry”.
Among those affected was President Barack Obama, whose motorcade spent an hour and 12 minutes trying to get him from an airport back to the White House – a trip that typically takes about a half hour.
* Hazard types… heavy snow and wind with blowing and drifting
snow Friday afternoon through Saturday night. Sleet may mix with
the snow Friday night into Saturday morning east of Interstate
95 before changing back to all snow by Saturday afternoon.
* Accumulations… snow accumulation of 18 to 24 inches in the
eastern suburbs of Washington DC… and 24 to 30 inches in the
western suburbs. The city of Washington DC is expected to
receive around 24 inches.
* Timing… heavy snow will develop late Friday afternoon and
continue through Saturday night. Conditions are expected to
deteriorate Friday afternoon with the heaviest snow… strongest
winds… and potential life threatening conditions expected
Friday night through Saturday.
* Impacts… heavy snow and blowing snow will cause dangerous
conditions and will be a threat to life and property. Travel
is expected to be severely limited if not impossible during
the height of the storm Friday night and Saturday. Visibility
will be reduced to near zero at times in whiteout conditions.
* Winds… northeast 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50
mph… becoming north Saturday.
* Temperatures… mid to upper 20s.
A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds
and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout
conditions… making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If
you must travel… have a winter survival kit with you. If you get
stranded… stay with your vehicle. Prepare for the possibility of
power outages during snowy and cold conditions.
With potentially historic snowfall in the forecast for the end of this week, take a look back at the 10 worst winter storms to hit the D.C. area.
1. Knickerbocker Blizzard
Jan. 27-28, 1922
The largest storm in D.C. history was called the Knickerbocker Blizzard after the theater that collapsed due to the heavy snow accumulation. The flat roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre, the largest and newest movie house in D.C. at the time, collapsed during a Jan. 28 evening showing of the silent film “Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford,” killing 98 people and injuring 133.
2. Great Blizzard of 1899
Feb. 11-13, 1899
Dubbed the Great Blizzard of 1899, this storm paralyzed much of the eastern United States, including southern states all the way down to Florida. D.C. experienced record cold temperatures, with thermometers registering at -15 degrees.
3. President’s Day Snowstorm of 1979
Feb. 18-19, 1979
The President’s Day Snowstorm of 1979 caught D.C. by surprise since forecasters predicted that the storm would bypass the city. The storm caused the Smithsonian museums to close for two days in a row, something that hadn’t happened in 50 years. Farmers who were in D.C. to protest agricultural policy used their tractors to help plow streets and get emergency personnel to hospitals.
Feb. 5-6, 2010
Dubbed Snowmaggedon by President Barack Obama, the 2010 blizzard practically shut down D.C. and left thousands without power. The entire mall was covered in deep snow, leaving 16 rows of soldiers’ names buried in snow at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
5. Blizzard of 1996
Jan. 6-8, 1996
Beginning at 9 p.m. on Jan. 6, the crippling blizzard of 1996 dumped 12 inches of snow in D.C. in just 24 hours. The storm was so bad that President Bill Clinton had to shut down the federal government for nearly a week, History.com recalls. Total property damage estimates range from $600 million to $3 billion.
6. President’s Day Snowstorm of 2003remember the names out there the author
Feb. 16-18, 2003
Snow fell heavily from Boston to D.C. during the long weekend, partially due to moisture from El Nino. Whiteout conditions, heavy snow, sleet and bitter cold shutdown the D.C. area. While 16.7 inches of snow was reported at Reagan National Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport had an astonishing 28.2 inches fell, “breaking the all-time Baltimore record set during the Knickerbocker Storm of January 1922,” WeatherBook.com reported.
7. Megalopolitan Blizzard
Feb. 11-12, 1983
Known as the Megalopolitan Blizzard, the 1983 storm left some areas of northwest Montgomery and Frederick counties with the greatest amount of snow ever recorded in those areas, even more than that recorded during the infamous Knickerbocker Storm of 1922. The storm crippled the region, closing the area’s three major airports and shutting down Metro, according to the Washington Post.
Dec. 18-19, 2009
The 2009 “Snowpocalypse” that blasted the East Coast caused usual snowstorm troubles, but D.C. took the weekend to recover, with only a few weather-related delays and closings the following Monday. However, the snow stuck around,giving D.C. residents a rare white Christmas. There are only 13 years on record that had an inch or more of snow on the ground in D.C. on Christmas.
9 (TIE). Feb. 7, 1936
More than 14 inches of snow fell during the storm that ranged from the Virginia mountains to the lower Eastern Shore. The heavy snowfall helped to set up the March 1936 Great Spring Flood of the Potomac River, the National Weather Service said.
9 (TIE). Feb. 15-16, 1958
The 1958 coastal storm affected much of the East Coast, and it was the first of two major nor’easter storms to hit the area that winter. More than 14 inches of snow fell in the D.C. area, with another snowstorm in March northeast of the city, according to the National Weather Service.
In spite of all hard the storm rages, tens of thousands of people from across the nation are expected to gather on the National Mall Friday to protest America’s embrace of abortion during the annual March for Life rally, which this year holds the theme “pro-life and pro-women go hand in hand.”
Although forecasts are calling for snow this upcoming weekend, activists are still planning to bear the frigid temperatures and march down Constitution Avenue in Washington D.C. on the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade with the purpose of speaking in defense of the nearly 60 million babies that have been aborted since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973.
The march is set to take place at 1 p.m. and will be preceded by musical acts and an hour-long rally near the Washington Monument that will feature a number of prominent Christian speakers such as Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, Southern Baptist Convention ethicist Russell Moore, social conservative leader Jim Daly, and a number of other prominent pro-life activists and politicians.
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Participants will march down Constitution Avenue until they arrive behind the U.S. Capitol building and in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building. At around 3 p.m., women who have had abortions will provide testimonies of how their abortions caused devastation and pain in their lives. At around 3:30 p.m., participants will have a chance to meet and present their concerns to members of Congress.
“There are so many confusing messages about women and what it means to be pro-life; especially this year, we are going to hear a lot in the media and different political messages as we are entering into this election cycle about what it means to be a woman and some of the ‘war on women’ rhetoric,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini told The Christian Post.
“We very much chose the theme with that in mind, wanting to tell the truth about the fact that pro-life is pro-woman and that we want to offer a beautiful and powerful alternative the old and soggy messages that we are hearing right now from abortion proponents about the false ‘war on women.'”
Although the threat of a major East Coast snowstorm this weekend might prevent some pro-lifers from attending the rally, organizers believe that the snow will have only a small impact and believe the event will go on without a hitch.
“I joke with my kids that God wants to make sure that we are really committed to this issue because the whether is frequently so bad,” Maureen Ferguson, senior policy adviser with the Catholic Association, told CP. “But people always show up in massive numbers in rain, snow or frigid temperatures. We are a hardy bunch and committed to the cause.”
As Catholics have historically dominated attendance at past March for Life rallies, The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and Focus on the Family will host a Evangelicals for Life conference in Washington that will take place the day before and the morning of the march in hopes of encouraging more Evangelical Protestants to join their Catholic brothers and sisters in participating in the March for Life.
“A number of years ago we began to do outreach to Evangelicals because they are so pro-life but they weren’t really coming to March for Life very often,” Mancini, who will speak at the Evangelicals for Life conference on Friday morning, said. “So, we have had a lot of collaboration and planning for this for a while. I am beyond delighted that Evangelicals for Life is kicking off this year.”
As Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, is the only presidential candidate scheduled to speak at the rally, Mancini confirmed that although other presidential candidates are welcome to attend the rally, Fiorina was the only candidate invited to speak.
“Mrs. Fiorina was chosen not because she is running for president but because she has been so articulate and she embodies the theme so well,” Mancini said. “Her voice on the public stage over the course of the last few years has been very powerful in terms of this messaging. We didn’t invite her with her candidacy hat, so to speak. She is committed to not speaking on her campaign, she is speaking on the theme.”
As many on the left advance the notion that pro-lifers are in the midst of a so-called war on women, Mancini said she believes that such rhetoric might have impacted the opinions of moderate individuals who don’t consider themselves to be in the pro-choice or pro-life camp.
Ferguson stated that if abortion proponents really wanted to help women, they would advocate for programs that would help make it so that pregnant mothers wouldn’t have to choose between raising a child or aborting the child in order to continue down a career path.
“The message is that women deserve better and that we should refuse to choose,” Ferguson said. “The idea that abortion is good for women is just a lie. Women are left wounded both physically and emotionally through abortion and we should have better choices than being pressured into abortion when we find ourselves in a difficult situation.”
Record-breaking Blizzard Threatens Thirty Million People on the East Coast