At the same time, residents of Pennsylvania were coping with the
aftermath of wintry weather that has left about 107,000 homes and
businesses still without power in the southeast part of the state.
Main roads in the Arkansas capital were increasingly open to travel
on Saturday as police towed away abandoned cars and crews worked to
remove 2 to 4 inches of snow that fell in two hours on Friday night.
Little Rock police said they received reports of at least 151
accidents, and some streets resembled parking lots.
It was not clear how many cars were left abandoned, but a police
dispatcher said one street alone had about 30 vehicles left behind.
Forecasters on Friday warned of the snowfall, and schools let out
early in anticipation. But the snow was heavier than forecast and
took some motorists by surprise.
"It was terrifying with all the cars sliding around," Angie
Thompson, a Little Rock resident, said after abandoning her car
three blocks from her home.
"It looked like a lifesize pinball machine. I hit someone who was
stuck and then had two cars hit me within 10 minutes."
Frigid air stretched from the northern Great Plains to the Great
Lakes, and the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch
for Little Rock. The city could get more than 6 inches of snow from
early Monday into Tuesday, the weather service said.
On Wednesday, a winter storm in the northeast United States cut
power to more than a million homes and businesses. Pennsylvania was
hardest hit with about 849,000 customers without electricity.
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Repair efforts have been hampered as utility crews have been forced
to dig out snowbanks and chip ice off damaged electrical equipment
before they can begin repairs.
About 107,000 customers were still without power in the Philadelphia
area, said Cathy Engel Menendez, a spokeswoman for local utility
PECO, an Exelon company.
Some people in hard-hit rural and suburban areas may have to wait
until early next week to get power restored, Menendez said.
The storm also knocked out power to nearly 200,000 customers in
Maryland, but 99 percent of them had seen service restored by
Saturday afternoon, according to a Baltimore Gas and Electric
National Weather Service said storms were expected to bring
much-needed rain and snow to the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains
and parts of California. The northern part of California could get
up to three feet of snow in parts of the Sierra Nevada, it said.
(Reporting by Suzi Parker in Little Rock, Writing By Jonathan Allen
and Ian Simpson; editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Chris Reese)
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