NEW YORK — A vicious storm system that whipped the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic left in its trail widespread damage and killed at least three people. Now, the Northeast is bracing for rounds of heavy snow and freezing rain.
In North Carolina, a man died after his vehicle hydroplaned and went into a creek Thursday, the Gaston County Sheriff’s Department told CNN. The victim, who was driving a Ford truck, was identified as Terry Roger Fisher.
In Knoxville, Tennessee, officers responded to a crash after a vehicle hydroplaned and hit the side of a city truck. A man was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release from the Knoxville Police Department. Two others were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Earlier that day, a tornado in Marengo County, Alabama, killed one person and left another injured, the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Michael Pope said. The tornado briefly touched down around 2:15 a.m. and destroyed two mobile homes.
Early Friday, a winter storm system was strengthening “rapidly” in the Mid-Atlantic and moving into the Northeast, according to the National Weather Service.
That’s going to mean more than a foot of snow for parts of New York and New England and freezing rain just to the south of that.
“Heavier ice amounts over a tenth of an inch forecast for southern Vermont and New Hampshire as well as along the coast of Maine,” the weather service said.
In Albany, the weather service warned of pockets of freezing rain and drizzle which could cause icy spots for morning commuters.
Destruction and delays across Southeast
Meanwhile, southern states are still reeling from damage after a lengthy band of torrential rain and tornadoes marched east.
A twister caused major damage in Mississippi, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department posted on Facebook.
Powerful storms also plagued Florida, where a crane crashed and blocked all northbound lanes on Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg, National Weather Service Tampa meteorologist Tony Hurt told CNN. No injuries were reported after the crash, according to CNN affiliate WFTS.
In Pinellas Park, multiple units at a mobile home park were damaged as the storm system roared through.
On Thursday, flights to and from Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina were stopped for three hours until after officials inspected the airfield for damage in the wake of the punishing storm.
“The airfield inspection is complete and no damage was found. The airfield is now operational. Flights are landing and departing. Please check with your airline for updated flight status,” officials said on the airport’s Twitter feed Thursday afternoon.
At the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, severe weather caused widespread delays around lunchtime Thursday.
For departing flights, gate holds and taxi delays were as long an hour and a half, said the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center. By midafternoon, delays for arrivals and departures were less than 15 minutes.