Dangerous winter storm leaves thousands without power in US

Huge system brings rare snow to Florida’s Panhandle and destructive tornados

Snow covers the Martin Luther King jnr Memorial in Washington, DC, US, amid a winter storm. Photograph: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Snow covers the Martin Luther King jnr Memorial in Washington, DC, US, amid a winter storm. Photograph: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

 

A dangerous winter storm brought significant snowfall, strong thunderstorms and blustery winds to the northeast of the US on Monday, as well as rare snow flurries and deadly tornados to Florida.

More than 50 million people were under winter weather alerts in the US on Monday morning as the huge system affected a gigantic swath of the country from Florida to Maine.

Air travel was hit as more than 1,200 US flights were cancelled on Monday morning after 3,000 US flights were cancelled on Sunday, according to FlightAware.com. Power was out to more than 180,000 customers from Georgia to New York, according to PowerOutage.us.

In Florida the Panhandle region in the northwest of the state saw rare snowfall and the system also spawned tornados across Florida that destroyed or damaged scores of mobile homes.

New York City and Boston were spared the heaviest snowfall, which was accumulating at higher elevations in western Massachusetts, eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New England.

A severe thunderstorm warning remained in effect for New York City early on Monday, and high winds made travel treacherous across the region. The howling winds spread a fire that destroyed a motel and two other structures in coastal Salisbury, Massachusetts, early on Monday.

In Canada, the storm was forecast to dump between 20-40cm of snow through Monday morning over parts of southern and eastern Ontario, the Canadian province that shares part of its border with New York state, government weather agency Environment Canada said. – Guardian/Reuters