Brutal Winter Storm Jonas Wallops Eastern Seaboard
WASHINGTON -- Wiinter Storm Jonas made its debut right on schedule. the huge winter storm packed a cold punch across the South from Arkansas to the Carolinas and brought blizzard-like conditions along the East Coast.
The storm is bringing heavy snow and brutal winds to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, all the way up to New York State.
Hours before the storm, utility companies sent warnings to customers about potential widespread power outages.
Along the Eastern seaboard, residents in states like Delaware and New Jersey were worried about coastal flooding. And in the skies, thousands of flights were grounded, ruining travel plans.
"This is a very significant storm and we're doing the very best we can to accommodate passengers," Katie Cody, with American Airlines, said.
An estimate 77 million people are in the storm's path. The heaviest snowfall is expected in Washington, D.C., with as much as two feet of snow.
About two and half hours west in the Shenandoah Valley, CBN's Jennifer Wishon reports that snow started falling about noon.
"The snow is drifting in some places due to the wind but this is how much snow we are expecting: two feet at least. That is really remarkable," she said. "The snow plows are already moving in this area, they have been for about an hour. That's good news because the street behind me is a secondary road."
"Having said that, the roads are still very dangerous. People are encouraged to stay inside," she said.
Before Jonas arrived, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency, closing all public schools Friday. Area residents flocked to grocery stores, preparing to be holed up for the weekend.
"I don't know about you, but I don't want to run out of my food. I don't want to run out of my water, my bread - and chili," resident Ali Wehr said.
Nerves are frayed after what many are calling a trial run in which an unexpected light snow left motorists stranded for hours, even delaying President Barack Obama and his motorcade in Wednesday's nightmare commute.
"We are very sorry for an inadequate response," Mayor Bowser said.