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Winter Storm Hits Eastern US, Hundreds of Thousands Without Power


Cars and trucks slip going up a small hill on I-495, the Capital Beltway, as snow falls, Jan. 3, 2022, in Fort Washington, Maryland.

A winter storm has brought snow and fierce winds to the U.S mid-Atlantic states and parts of the South, leading to power outages for hundreds of thousands of people and the closure of federal government offices in Washington.

Up to 25 centimeters of snow was forecast in Washington as well as neighboring areas in Virginia and Maryland through Monday.

The storm stretched from Florida to New Jersey, with parts of Florida's Panhandle seeing a rare dusting of snow.

Strong winds left more than 500,000 customers without power across the storm's reach, which included parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, the Carolinas and West Virginia.

Wind gusts in Washington grounded President Joe Biden's helicopter, forcing him to motorcade to the White House from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland after a weekend in Delaware.

The harsh weather, along with staffing storages due to the coronavirus pandemic, led to continued flight cancellations Monday.

More than 1,900 U.S. flights were grounded as of early Monday, according to the tracking service FlightAware. The flight cancellations began during the Christmas holiday, with airlines blaming increasing COVID-19 infections among crews and severe weather in various parts of the country.

Authorities in Maryland and Virginia reported numerous road accidents Monday and were urging people to stay home if possible. Federal offices in Washington were closed Monday, while telework employees were expected to continue working.

Authorities said floods in North Carolina made some roads dangerous.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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