The East Coast was hit with yet another snowstorm on Thursday Feb. 13. The storm, with its heavy snow, winds and ice, was the reason for 1,600 flights being canceled Friday and was responsible for 21 deaths, according to NBC News.
East Coasters faced harsh wind and snow that later turned into dangerous driving conditions of slush and sleet. These conditions proved deadly as The New York Times reported the death of a 36-year-old pregnant woman from Brooklyn, N.Y. The woman, Min Lin, was hit by a snowplow in a parking lot. Her child was delivered in an emergency cesarean section and, as of last Thursday, remains in critical condition at Maimonides Medical Center. CBS Connecticut reported that no immediate charges were brought against the snowplow operator.
The Nor’easter hit right before Valentine’s Day on the East Coast, delaying tens of thousands of deliveries of flowers, chocolates and Valentines. Virginian florist Mike Flood said of the disruption of deliveries, “It’s a god-awful thing. We’re going to lose money. There’s no doubt about it.” This winter has proved detrimental for store owners and business people affected by the snow. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that retail sales dipped 0.4 percent in January.
The treacherous storm was responsible for the closing of many schools and businesses. According to CBS Connecticut, approximately 1.2 million utility customers were without power due to the storm, and around 550,000 power outages occurred in Georgia and South Carolina.
“It is a storm that has brought wide-ranging effects, from heavy snow and ice to severe weather, including strong winds and hail down South,” said Joey Picca, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
Randal Delvernois of New Cumberland, Pa., said of the snowstorm, “Every time it snows, it’s like, ‘Oh, not again.’ I didn’t get this much snow when I lived in Colorado.” People in the South were feeling similar sentiments to Delvernois, when they faced unlikely and unanticipated amounts of snow, wind and ice. Residents of Raleigh, N.C. faced traffic jams due to the storm. It is reported that Washington, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, New York and St. Louis have gotten around two to three times as much snow this winter as they usually do this time of the season.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has come under fire after reaching the decision to keep New York City public schools open on Feb. 13, despite the dangerous weather conditions. Michael Mulgrew, head of the city’s teachers’ union, expressed his disagreement with the mayor’s decision, stating that children should have stayed home. Mayor de Blasio stood by his decision saying, “We were convinced that kids could get to schools this morning,” and that the Weather Service overestimated the conditions. NBC Weatherman Al Roker criticized Mayor de Blasio via social media, expressing that his decision was wrong.
Sherman Penaflor, instructor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in New York, sums up the East Coast sentiments regarding the storm: “This hurts, this is horrible.”
Editor’s Note: Information from The National Weather Service, CBS News, NBC News and The New York Times was used in this report.