Major storm front causes travel, business delays across US
A winter storm system is expected to drop as much as 7 inches of snow across some areas of the U.S. as it makes its way eastward across the country. The weather pattern,
identified as a clipper by United Press International, made its mark in Chicago and the surrounding area on January 4 and 5. It left a few inches of snow as it slowly progressed toward the Eastern Seaboard, bringing previously mild temperatures down to near or below 0 degrees in some areas. The impact on Chicago wasn't particularly significant, although local travel delays did occur. The predicted snowfall in parts of the Appalachian and Mid-Atlantic regions could mean more severe problems for individuals and businesses, however.
Heavy snow predicted for four states
An area including parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia could get as much as 7 inches of snow, according to UPI. The precipitation will be quickly followed by a cold snap similar to the one experienced in the Midwest. The increase in snowfall could cause major delays for both personal and corporate travel, whether from airports or over the highways and local roads in the area. Although some of the area of predicted impact is sparsely populated, Pittsburgh sits at its edge and could be digging out from the storm in the days to come, hampering the ability of employees to both commute to work and to travel outside the area.
Accidents and secondary problems across the country
Fatal travel accidents were reported in areas already hit by the storm, according to CBS News. Accidents related to low visibility as well as icy and generally dangerous roads are commonplace in such conditions. Serious incidents occurred in Michigan, Illinois and other areas.
While the brunt of the storm was felt most severely in the Midwest, the cold air of the overall weather pattern also caused problems in the Pacific Northwest. ABC News pointed out that heavy rains in Washington led to landslides and flooding. While the areas affected were mostly single-family housing and a nursing home, the potential for damages to businesses was evident. Reports included a total of more than 6 inches of rain near the coast of the state, which led to damage from flooding to both residences and office and commercial buildings.
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