A brutal winter storm — now blamed for 18 deaths — has taken a toll from Texas to New England, producing a messy mix of ice-slicked roads, power outages and whiteout conditions that have battered millions of Americans enduring an already punishing winter.
As more than a half-million homes and businesses in the South woke up Thursday without electricity following a vicious ice storm, millions more along the Interstate 95 corridor are struggling to dig out of more than a foot of snow in some parts.
Snow, it turns out, is on the ground somewhere in 49 of the 50 states. You win, Florida.
The swift-moving eastern storm — initially categorized as “catastrophic” — wreaked havoc across 22 states:
● The storm is being blamed for at least 18 deaths, mostly involving traffic accidents. A 36-year-old pregnant woman struck and killed by a snowplow in New York Thursday became the latest tragedy tied to the storm. Doctors were able to save her baby. Seven of those killed were in Texas, where the storm first hit, and included three people who died in an ambulance rollover near San Angelo on Monday night. There were also at least three deaths in North Carolina, two in Mississippi, two in Georgia, two in South Carolina and one in Virginia.
● There were still more than 468,000 power outages, mainly across the South, as of Thursday afternoon. Georgia and South Carolina bore the brunt of Wednesday’s ice storm and account for 90 percent of the outages. Georgia’s highways were virtually empty after officials warned drivers to stay off the roads — a vast difference from the Jan. 28 storm when commuters were stuck for hours in paralyzing gridlock.
● Areas around Washington, D.C., and Baltimore were slammed with at least a foot of snow overnight Wednesday as the storm moves up the coast at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour. Capitol Hill came to a standstill Thursday morning, with the federal government and courts closing, and the White House canceling a briefing with reporters.
● Flakes fell in Boston around 7 a.m. ET, with 2 to 4 inches expected in the city and more than 10 inches outside by the late afternoon, forecasters said.The storm hit Philadelphia earlier, dumping more than 8 inches of snow after midnight and moving the winter of 2014 into the top five snowiest for that city. New York City, meanwhile, had 10 inches of snow by 1 p.m.