Living in the Sunshine State, it’s hard to forget that although we are enjoying cool weather, other parts of the United States are experiencing actual winter. Just this past Tuesday (1/21/14) a winter storm swept the northeastern US. About 3,000 flights were grounded, schools and offices were shut down, and state emergencies warned residents to stay indoors, as the storm had wind temperatures of 30°F below normal. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers in Washington were ordered to stay home and even the White House called off its Tuesday press briefing. The Supreme Court remained open to hear cases, and the annual anti-abortion March for Life rally on Wednesday would still occur.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Delaware Governor Jack Markell declared a state of emergency. Christie’s inauguration party on Ellis Island in New York Harbor was canceled. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick postponed his annual state of the state address. Delaware and Maryland state governments were shut down and Connecticut sent nonessential state workers home. The Maryland Transit Administration halted rail and bus services. Connecticut and Virginia state officials warned residents not to travel if unnecessary.
Schools in North Carolina closed early, schools were shut across Virginia and West Virginia, and Connecticut closed all its schools for Wednesday. In Princeton, West Virginia, residents were stocking up on propane, food and general items in preparation of losing power. Forecaster AccuWeather predicted the cold front would drop temperatures below freezing as far south as northern Florida.