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Winter Storm Shuts Northeast; South Still Reeling

(We're adding details to this post as the day continues.)

The forecasters said it would be "crippling," "mind-boggling" and historic.

Well, this time around we can't complain about them getting it wrong.

Just as expected and feared, a dangerous winter storm has now spread snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain or some combination of all four from Texas to the Mid-Atlantic. Next up: the Northeast and New England.

We've already seen how this storm can shut down traffic. It brought things to a standstill in parts of North Carolina on Wednesday.

What else has the storm done so far?

-- Fatalities.By the evening, the death toll stood at 20, mostly in traffic accidents. A pregnant woman who was struck by a snow plow in New York City was among the dead. Her baby, delivered via cesarean section, was in critical condition, The Associated Press reported. Also among the dead, a man who was hit by a falling tree limb in North Carolina.

-- Power outages.The weather conditions hit the South particularly hard. Utility crews worked to restore power to more than 750,000 homes and businesses, mostly in the Carolinas and Georgia. Atlanta alone had more than 200,000 outages.

-- Roads.The snow has ended in Atlanta, but statetransportation officials advised motorists that it would be best to stay off the roads. Still, they said the "concern [isn't] as high as it was before." North Carolina's Charlotte Observer said "it will take a few days for the region to recover." from snow-clogging heavy snow and freezing rain that left hundreds of thousands without power. In Washington, D.C., officials said the snow emergency would end at 6:30 p.m. There was 8-10 inches of snow in some of the D.C. suburbs.

-- Cancellations. Schools are closed across the affected states. The federal government's offices in Washington, D.C., . The weather also grounded more than 6,500 flights within the U.S., according to FlightAware.com. Thousands more were delayed. Amtrak has reduced service in the Northeast and canceled many trains that normally head south toward Florida and the Gulf Coast.

As for what's ahead the rest of today and Friday, the National Weather Service said the storm will continue to track Northeast, but the snow will begin to taper off Friday morning.

"Warmer air streaming in off the Atlantic should keep most of the precipitation as rain for coastal New England, with some mixing in of sleet or freezing rain possible," it said.

The service added that "heavy rain and mountain snow expected to continue across the Northwest corner of the nation."

If you've been stuck at home today — and are likely to be tomorrow, too — we want to remind everyone that Two-Way readers have many good ideas about good things to do:

Let's Weather The Storm: Share '3 Things To Do When Stuck Inside'

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.