Washington braces for potential blizzard

2016-01-21 19:30
(Mary Altaffer, AP)

(Mary Altaffer, AP)

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Washington - Residents of the eastern United States braced on Thursday for a major snow storm that threatens to bury Washington, already reeling from a mere dusting that caused massive traffic snarls.

A "blizzard watch remains in effect from Friday afternoon through late Saturday night" for Washington, the National Weather Service (NWS) said in a statement early on Thursday.

The city could see snow accumulation of 46- to 61cm with substantial amounts also predicted for Baltimore, it added.

The warning followed an evening flurry that ground traffic to a halt in the US capital, snaring President Barack Obama's motorcade, which spent more than an hour navigating the icy streets from Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland to the White House on his return from a trip to Detroit.

Virginia state police tweeted that troopers responded "to 767 crashes & 392 calls for disabled vehicles on Wednesday, majority in #NOVA," an abbreviation for the Northern Virginia suburbs south of the capital.

One person was confirmed dead in the crashes, local ABC affiliate WJLA reported.

"Heavy snow and blowing snow will cause dangerous conditions and will be a threat to life and property," NWS said.

"Travel is expected to be severely limited if not impossible during the height of the storm on Friday night and Saturday," it added.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency on Thursday morning, authorising state authorities to respond as blizzard conditions blow through.

"All Virginians should take the threat of this storm seriously and take necessary precautions now to ensure they are prepared for travel disruptions and possible power outages during a cold weather period," he said

The NWS reported that there was "uncertainty" in snowfall from New York City to Boston.

South of the capital, "significant icing is likely for portions of Kentucky and North Carolina," it said.

Read more on:    us  |  weather

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