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Winter Storm Hercules: At Least 16 Deaths Blamed on Extreme Winter Weather in Northeast, Midwest

Associated Press
Published: January 6, 2014

Winter Storm Hercules unleashed heavy snow and ferocious winds on the Midwest and Northeast this week, before exiting the East Coast of New England late Friday.

Freezing temperatures with below-zero wind chills in some places complicated life for residents from Minnesota to Maine. At least 15 people have died and thousands have lost power to their homes and businesses.

Several states also recorded significant snowfall totals. The National Weather Service said 21 inches of snow had fallen in Boxford, just north of Boston, by Thursday night, while other parts of the state had 17 or 18 inches.

(MORE: Snowfall Totals for Winter Storm Hercules)

Below is a breakdown of the impacts from Winter Storm Hercules, as told state-by-state.

New York

New York City, where 6 to 11 inches of snow was recorded, urged the homeless to find shelter as single-digit temperatures followed the storm. Flights out of John F. Kennedy Airport were suspended for a time Friday because of winds and visibility. A woman with Alzheimer's disease froze to death after wandering away from her rural western New York home and two other deaths were also blamed on the weather.

(MORE: Winter Storm Ion Threatens Weekend)

Massachusetts

Snow totals of nearly 2 feet of snow in some areas and wind chills well below zero were reported Friday. The National Weather Service said the temperature in Boston was 2 degrees Friday morning but felt like 20-below. Boston had more than 13 inches of snow, with higher amounts north of the city, including 23.8 inches in Boxford. Coastal flooding damaged homes in Scituate.

Connecticut

A 22-year-old man was fatally injured in one of more than 200 weather-related accidents reported in the state. 

New Jersey

New Jersey schools, government offices and businesses closed Friday after more than 10 inches of snow accumulated in some places. A New Jersey Transit bus slid backward down an icy hill in Paterson and crashed into a carpet store. The driver, the only person on the bus, had minor injuries. More than one-fourth of Friday's outgoing flights at Newark Liberty Airport were canceled.

Delaware

Transportation officials asked people to stay home Friday as total snowfall reached 7 inches in some areas.

Rhode Island

Most schools were closed due to snow and single-digit temperatures and winds that made it feel like minus-20 overnight in Warwick. Communities across the state opened warming centers at libraries, senior centers and other buildings.

Vermont

Icy roads led to a car crash Thursday night in the town of St. Albans. Workers rescued an infant from a car crash Thursday night by pulling the baby up a steep embankment; the child, a man and a woman were taken to a hospital.

Ohio

Authorities say at least two people were killed in weather-related crashes in northeast Ohio on Thursday as the storm dumped up to 10 inches of snow around Cleveland and Toledo.

(WATCH: See the Best Meteorological Images of 2013)

Pennsylvania

Authorities said a worker at a suburban Philadelphia road salt storage facility died Thursday when a 100-foot-tall pile of salt fell and crushed him on a backhoe.

Michigan

Three days of snow and bitter cold left the Detroit area under almost a foot of snow.  Officials blamed one death on the weather.

Illinois

Nearly 17 inches of snow fell Thursday in some of Chicago's northern suburbs, and more than 12 inches of snow was recorded at Midway International Airport. The weather was blamed for two deaths, including a man who died in southern Illinois after having a heart attack while clearing snow. 

Indiana

Two deaths were blamed on the weather. Indianapolis' mayor urged residents to stock up on supplies in advance of more heavy snows and sub-zero readings. Fort Wayne set a record low Friday morning at minus-10 degrees.

West Virginia

There were reports of several traffic accidents on roads covered with ice and snow. Many schools were closed or opening late.

Washington, D.C.

Offices of the federal government and the District of Columbia were open Friday, but workers were given the option to take leave or work from home after more than 2 inches of snow fell.

Maryland

State officials restricted traffic on several bridges, including the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, after reports of sustained winds exceeding 50 mph Friday morning.

Virginia

Snowfall totals as high as five inches were recorded from Hercules, leaving more than 14,000 customers without power early Friday morning. Temperatures were in the teens across much of the state, creating a dangerous situation for those who lost power.

North Carolina

Three Appalachian Trail hikers were hospitalized Friday after being stranded overnight in the snow without shelter. Wind chills were near 20 degrees below zero and snow drifts were up to 2 feet high.

Kentucky

Slicks roads caused dozens of wrecks, and weather-related accidents were blamed for four deaths.

Wisconsin

A man found on a sidewalk outside his Milwaukee home Friday died of hypothermia resulting from bitterly cold temperatures. The man's core body temperature was 45 degrees, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office. Milwaukee officials planned to close non-essential services Monday because of expected dangerously cold temperatures.

Hercules Satellite Image

Hercules Satellite Image

This image taken on January 3, 2014 by the Suomi NPP satellite shows the blanket of snow that stretches from the Midwest across to New England after a massive winter storm moved over the region on January 1-3, 2014. (Source: NASA/NOAA)

  • Hercules Satellite Image
  • MODIS Satellite Image Depicting Hercules' Snow
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Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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