Please follow our live coverage on the winter storm here.
Millions under winter weather alerts as storm pummels East Coast
By Mike Hayes, Jason Kurtz and Amir Vera, CNN
All lanes on Interstate 81 in Roanoke County are back open after being closed due to multiple tractor-trailer crashes, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) tweeted Sunday night.
“Avoid travel on 81 tonight folks. Teams along #i81 are fighting the snow and ice,” VDOT’s Salem District tweeted Sunday.
A winter storm warning remains in effect for portions of Virginia.
Two people were killed Sunday morning on Interstate 95 in Nash County after their vehicle went off the road and struck several trees in the median, North Carolina State Highway Patrol spokesperson 1st Sgt. Christopher Knox tells CNN.
“On Sunday, January 16, at approximately 9:20 a.m., the State Highway Patrol responded to a collision involving injuries in Nash County on I-95 southbound near the 132-mile marker," Knox said. "The initial investigation has revealed that a blue Honda CRV traveled off the road to the left and struck several trees in the median. The driver and passenger were pronounced deceased at the scene.”
Authorities say speed and the winter weather are believed to be the cause of the crash.
“Exceeding a safe speed for the conditions is the proximate cause of the collision," Knox said. "Weather at the time was a mixture of wintry precipitation.”
Both victims are 41 years old and are from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Knox said.
Nash County is located east of Raleigh.
Authorities in North Carolina have responded to more than 400 crashes since midnight, North Carolina State Highway Patrol spokesperson 1st Sgt. Christopher Knox told CNN.
“We have responded to 444 collisions and 989 calls for service from midnight today until late this afternoon in affected areas of the state,” Knox said.
Portions of North Carolina are currently under a winter storm warning.
The Virginia National Guard (VNG) has approximately 75 personnel staged for possible winter storm response operations at various locations across the state.
According to a VNG news release, “The Virginia Department of Emergency Management requested debris reduction and high mobility transportation capabilities, so the VNG deployed personnel with chain saws for clearing fallen trees and heavy duty tactical vehicles capable of traveling through deep snow at key locations along the I-81 corridor and the northern sections of the I-95 and Route 29 corridors.”
“When we have advanced notice of possible severe weather, it enables us to stage personnel at key locations for a more rapid response,” Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, VNG director of the joint staff, said. “We appreciate our personnel being willing to leave their loved ones and their jobs on very short notice to help their fellow Virginians in times of need. We thank the families and employers for their continued support."
Virginia is currently under a winter storm warning and/or a winter weather advisory, according to the National Weather Service.
In a video on Twitter, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp asked residents to stay home and off the roads for the remainder of Sunday night and Monday.
“Potential for black ice tonight with the temperatures dropping down into the 20s, so please stay off the roads tonight and tomorrow, if at all possible," the governor said. "It’s going to be very treacherous in a lot of parts of our state.”
Kemp also said there is a very high potential for downed power lines.
“So, the less traffic we have on the roads the easier it is for our partners to clear the roads and restore power,” the governor said.
“Be safe, have a great holiday tomorrow,” Kemp said.
Portions of Georgia remain under a winter storm warning and/or winter weather advisory.
At least 2,987 flights within, into, or out of the United States have been cancelled Sunday, as a winter storm lashes the Eastern United States with snow, high winds, ice and rain, according to FlightAware.
In anticipation of winter weather in the state, Pennsylvania announced planned vehicle restrictions starting 3 p.m. ET Sunday, according to an announcement by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC).
Motorcycles, recreational vehicles, trucks and oversized vehicles are prohibited from entering certain roadways, and motorists are encouraged to avoid all travel during Sunday's and Monday’s winter events if possible.
Read more about the restrictions here.
A portion of a major interstate in Tennessee is currently closed due to an overturned semi in Humphreys County, according to a Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) spokesperson.
“I-40 East closed due to an overturned semi in Humphreys Co. at the 136 mm. Wrecker is on scene to move the truck. The road is clear of snow but conditions are wet and could be slick. Take it slow out there,” TDOT spokeswoman Rebekah Hammonds said in a tweet.
Humphreys County is located about 65 miles west of Nashville on I-40.
I-40 is a major interstate traversing the entire state, from west to east.
TDOT is actively out clearing roads, and they are asking residents to stay home.
“As snow continues to fall across several parts of the state, a reminder of the #myTDOT road clearing priorities. Stay home and stay safe while our crews clear these roads,” the TDOT tweet said.
Portions of Tennessee are currently under a winter storm warning and/or winter weather advisory, according to the National Weather Service.