Freezing rain makes Northeast roads slick; at least 5 killed

19 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Drivers battle icy conditions Sunday morning.

Motorists across the Northeast awoke to some dangerous driving conditions that have caused numerous accidents — including multiple deadly pileups in Philadelphia.NEW YORK — Rain “flash-freezing” left an icy glaze under feet and tires across much of the northeast Sunday, causing crashes that killed at least five people.Several multi-car pileups — including one involving dozens of vehicles — in icy conditions on interstates in the Philadelphia area claimed at least four lives and injured dozens on Sunday as hundreds of crashes were reported across eastern Pennsylvania, authorities said.

A major accident occurred at 6:30 a.m. on Interstate 76 involving 60 cars that slammed into one another on the major highway that runs through the city. The National Weather Service warned Sunday night that temperatures were expected to drop below freezing in and around Philadelphia overnight, and any remaining moisture on roads and sidewalks could re-freeze.

The cold temperatures coupled with the morning rain created a type of “flash freeze” that created very hazardous conditions from New York to suburbs near Baltimore and Washington D.C., Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines told the Daily News. In Connecticut, police cited slippery conditions in a crash that killed an 88-year-old woman who struck a utility pole. “This is the worst type of winter precipitation to combat because it can freeze instantly and it doesn’t need to be the whole pavement for vehicles crossing it to have problems,” said Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Eugene Blaum. Belgian police released several of the 13 people who were detained last week as part of an effort to stop an attack that security officials said was hours or days away from happening. Officials reported at least 15 accidents across New York City Sunday morning, including a reported 20-car pileup on the Bruckner Expressway that occurred around 7:15 a.m., a spokesman for the FDNY said. The weather has also been a major public safety hazard as at least 660 calls to the city’s Emergency Medical Services command were placed on hold by Sunday afternoon, according to sources.

Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday that he is considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, becoming the latest potential contender in an increasingly crowded field. Around 9 a.m. there was also a road closure on the Long Island Expressway near the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and a road closure along the Cross Bronx Expressway. He said he had filed with the IRS to create “a testing-the-waters committee.” Lebanon: An Israeli air raid over Syria killed six members of Hezbollah on Sunday, the Lebanese Shiite group said.

NJ Transit suspended bus service in North Jersey due to “extremely icy road conditions.” The Philadelphia transit agency SEPTA suspended all bus operations until 11 a.m. Kines said most areas will be above freezing by the early afternoon and, though it will rain most of Sunday, the temperatures will not be back under freezing until possibly Monday night, he said.

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