A snowstorm paralyzed Washington and left half a million homes without power.
While the worst is expected to happen tonight, at least six inches of snow would accumulate in some areas. As a result, half of the flights to and from Washington DC were canceled.
A powerful snowstorm is marking the first hours of the year on the east coast of the United States, particularly towards the center and south of the country, generating complications in traffic, loss of electricity, and even closing the offices of the federal government in the capital of the country.
Some areas of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and southern New Jersey are expected to have a 6 to 12-inch snow accumulation. As a result, the general area of the storm is under a weather alert as of 4:00 p.m. EST today. According to the Weather Channel, a specialized medium on the subject, there is a danger of an electrical snowstorm in five states, a rare combination of meteorological phenomena.
The national meteorological service expects sustained winds of up to 35 miles per hour, which, combined with the snow, has led to the cancellation or delay of more than half of the flights scheduled to operate from any of the three airports in the Washington DC area.
Although the snow is not so much, towards the country's south, the winds are creating chaos. In Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, more than 500,000 homes and businesses are without power due to strong gusts of wind that put electrical connections at risk. In addition, it is expected that in the next few hours, due to the accumulation of snow on power lines, thousands of other homes will lose connection to the center of the country on the east coast.
Many traffic accidents have been reported in several states, and conditions may become more dangerous in the next few hours. Towards hours of the night of today, the low-pressure system generating this snowstorm will move towards the sea. This will stop it from snowing so intensely. Still, that accumulated snow often becomes ice that remains on the roads for days, making traffic conditions very difficult.
The great storm in the country's capital led the federal government to close the government offices today to avoid risks in the transfer of employees. This caused the first press conference from the White House in 2022 to be canceled, which would be carried out by the media secretary, Jen Psaki.
Similarly, due to the storm, the first Senate vote was canceled. The legislature's upper house was supposed to open its doors for the first time in 2022 this noon. At 5:30 in the afternoon, he would carry out the first vote that was the nomination of Gabriel Sánchez as judge of the appeals district, a position that the senators must approve. However, as all federal offices closed, voting was postponed until tomorrow, when weather conditions are expected to be considerably better.
The congress had a two-week recess at the end of December for winter break. The first week of January, regular activity is reestablished in the country's capital.