The late-winter storm left behind frigid temperatures after
pushing freezing rain, sleet and snow from the Mississippi Valley to
the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Temperatures this week will be "below average east of the Rockies,
as it has been for a good part of the winter," said Bob Oravec, a
National Weather Service meteorologist in College Park, Maryland.
The icy front sent the mercury plunging to minus 1F (minus 18C) at
Washington Dulles International Airport, tying a monthly record, the
weather service said.
Baltimore; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Morgantown, West Virginia;
Zanesville, Ohio; and Flint, Michigan all set or tied record lows.
The latest in a series of arctic weather systems to grip the
winter-weary eastern United States, the cold front stretched from
the Canadian border to southern Texas, where freezing rain was
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe called National Guard units to help
rescue motorists stranded on icy Interstate 40 in the eastern part
of the state. The storm dumped snow, sleet and freezing rain on much
of Arkansas late on Sunday, leaving it nearly paralyzed.
The severe cold and icy roads prompted the federal government to
open its Washington offices with a two-hour delay after being closed
on Monday. Schools, colleges and local governments throughout the
region were closed or opening late.
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The cold is expected gradually to lift to normal March temperatures
this week, first in the U.S. midsection and then in eastern states,
The storm was blamed for at least six deaths, most of them from
traffic accidents on slippery roads. A woman in Bowie, Maryland,
died on Monday from a likely heart attack after shoveling snow, a
spokesman for the Prince George's County fire department said.
About 730 U.S. flights were canceled and about 2,700 delayed on
Tuesday in the wake of the bad weather, according to airline
tracking site FlightAware.com. About 8,000 flights were canceled or
delayed on Monday.
(Additional reporting by Suzi Parker in Little Rock;
Scott Malone, Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)
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