Winter Storm Electra: Schools, Roads Remain Closed in Northeast and Midwest

Associated Press
Published: December 17, 2013

Winter Storm Electra caused at least eight deaths and continued to snarl traffic and close schools Monday despite the system exiting off the East Coast.

The Missouri State Patrol confirms that the storm contributed to four deadly crashes on Friday and Saturday. Drivers in the path of the storm faced slick road conditions from snow and ice and multiple accidents were reported on roadways throughout the Midwest and Northeast.

"Winter Storm Electra was a fairly typical winter storm," said meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. "One area of low pressure brought snow to the Midwest Saturday before the storm transferred its energy to an offshore low Sunday. The Northeast got the heavier totals with over a foot from eastern New York to northern New England. All in all, the storm behaved as predicted with few, if any, surprises."

(MORE: Updated Snow and Ice Totals From Electra)

New York

Residents of upstate New York who spent Sunday digging out from under more than a foot of snow will get a breather before the next storm hits the region. Snowfall totals from the weekend range from 8 inches in western and central sections of the state to 14 inches in parts of the Albany area. Areas south of Buffalo received up to a foot of snow from the lake-effect storms that began Saturday and lasted into early Sunday morning.


Major roads in Massachusetts have been cleared of snow that fell during a weekend storm, but officials warn that there's still plenty of ice that could make driving slippery. Massachusetts Department of Transportation crews were treating roads all weekend, but Monday's bitter cold means there will be icy spots. Transportation officials are advising motorists to drive cautiously and be aware that there could be black ice on the roads. The MBTA was up and running Sunday night, and officials say it should be OK for the morning commute.

Rhode Island

The town of Cumberland recorded the highest snow total from Electra, with eight inches falling by Sunday morning, according to local reports. Power outages were scattered across the state but remained low throughout the storm.


Torrington received 8.5 inches, the highest snow total in the state from Electra, according to local reports. Angel DeJesus and John Rosario began clearing snow at apartment complexes on Hartford's south end at about 5 a.m. Sunday. Freezing rain was falling early in the morning, making the use of snow blowers more difficult, said DeJesus, a manager for Carabetta Management.

"We love the snow," DeJesus said. "Overtime for us. And we like to take care of our tenants."

(MORE: Live Updates on Winter Storm Electra)

Maine and Vermont

More than 18 inches of snow were reported in the town of Presque Isle, located in northern Maine, on Monday morning. Vermont's leading snow total from Electra was in Woodford, where local reports say 18 inches of snow fell.

New Hampshire

Mount Sunapee ski area in Newbury, N.H., got a fresh 13 inches of snow and a big skier turnout Sunday morning, said marketing director Bruce McCloy.

"Cars are pouring into the parking lot as I look out the window," he said. "People are excited."

New Jersey

New Jerseyans who have finished digging out from a weekend snowstorm will need their shovels again. Forecasters are predicting snow could slow the ride to work on Tuesday. Additional snow could fall Monday and Tuesday.


A crash in central Pennsylvania killed two people late Saturday morning. Police tell The Altoona Mirror that an SUV was traveling too fast for weather conditions when it lost control and slid into the path of an oncoming pickup truck. The two people in the SUV died, and the truck driver was seriously injured. At the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon, accountant Kathy Porter shivered under layers of clothing in the stands, trying to keep warm amid low temperatures she doesn't get much of back home in Charlotte, N.C.

"We're just hoping for snow and not rain - I think we can handle the snow," Porter said. "I think we'll be OK. A little frozen but OK."

(PHOTOS: Our Favorite 'Snowfies' From the Storm)


Several school districts in Michigan's southeastern corner have canceled classes after Electra delivered more than eight inches of snow to some areas. Monday closings include the Monroe Country districts of Dundee, Ida and Summerfield. Several schools in neighboring Lenawee County also have been closed, including those in Tecumseh and Adrian. The area was the heaviest hit by the storm, which dumped 9.1 inches of snow in the Monroe County community of Newport. To the northwest in Ionia County, sub-freezing temperatures and icy roads prompted about a dozen school cancellations.


Authorities say a 44-year-old man has killed in a weekend snowmobile accident in northern Ohio. The Sandusky Register reports that Gary Jenkins of Norwalk was killed late Saturday when the snowmobile he was riding struck a culvert and threw him south of Sandusky. A steady, light snow continued Monday morning across the southern half of the state.


A man married less than seven hours was killed along with a stranded motorist he stopped to help in the snow when they were struck by several vehicles, authorities say. The man was on the way back from his wedding reception to a hotel when the accident happened. William "Riley" Knight, 49, of Crown Point, was driving with his wife, Nikki, about 11:45 p.m. Saturday when they saw a woman who had slid off the road in the snow near Crown Point.

"He said, 'We've got to stop, it's late and they need help,'" Nikki Knight told the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday. He pulled his truck into a nearby driveway and Nikki Knight waited inside while he went out to help Linda Darlington, 42, of Crown Point. They were standing by the side of the road when they were struck by one vehicle, and then two more, the Lake County sheriff's office said. Nikki Knight, a registered nurse, said when she got to the wreck, neither Knight nor Darlington had pulses. They were pronounced dead at the scene early Sunday.


Police in the Chicago suburb of Joliet say they believe a man froze to death after falling outside his home. The Joliet Herald-News reports the man's body was found Sunday morning in his backyard. Joliet Police Lt. Kevin LaBolle says authorities weren't releasing the man's name or age, but say he was elderly and lived alone. He said the man remained outside overnight.


Frigid temperatures in the St. Louis area are being blamed for nearly a dozen water main breaks. KMOV-TV reports that a huge break Sunday night in western St. Louis County sprayed water directly onto a home. At least 10 other breaks were also reported Sunday. Great America Water blames the breaks on cold temperatures. Sally Klipsch was at her home in Des Peres when water shot into the sky and all over the outside of the house. She says the water was shooting as much as 50 feet into the air, pounding the house and its roof.

Steve Roche shovels snow as neighbors use snow blowers to clear the sidewalk, Dec. 15, 2013, in Walpole, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Featured Blogs

African Wave 95L and Mexico's Tropical Storm Polo Little Threat

By Dr. Jeff Masters
September 20, 2014

Satellite loops show that a tropical wave (Invest 95L) off the coast of Africa, a few hundred miles southeast of the Cape Verde Islands, has a moderate degree of spin and heavy thunderstorm activity. The wave is under light wind shear and over warm waters of 28°C (82°F), conditions that favor development, but shear will rise to the moderate range, ocean temperatures will cool, and the air surrounding the storm will grow drier by Sunday, making development unlikely.

Incredible Rainstorm in Southern France

By Christopher C. Burt
September 19, 2014

Torrential rainfall Tuesday through Thursday morning (September 16-18) in the Languedoc Region of southern France has resulted in flooding that has killed at least four people with two others still missing. The rainfall rates during the storm were phenomenal.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.