Sandy spawns blizzard in West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Wet snow and high winds spinning off the edge of superstorm Sandy spread blizzard conditions over parts of West Virginia and neighboring Appalachian states Tuesday, shutting one interstate and knocking out power to many.
The National Weather Service said a foot and more of snow was reported in lower elevations of West Virginia, where most towns and roads are. High elevations in the mountains were getting more than two feet and a blizzard warning for parts of the state was in effect until Wednesday afternoon.
More than 128,000 customers in West Virginia were without power early Tuesday.
Authorities closed more than 45 miles of Interstate 68 on either side of the West Virginia-Maryland state line because of blizzard conditions and stuck cars.
Police rescued several stranded motorists on the interstate, said a spokeswoman for West Virginia' Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
The State Highway Administration in Maryland said the higher elevations in western parts of the state received more than a foot of snow since Monday afternoon, and it was still snowing Tuesday before dawn.
Officials in West Virginia said a woman was killed Monday in a storm-related traffic accident. A spokeswoman for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said about 5 inches of snow had fallen in the area of Tucker County where the crash occurred, making road conditions treacherous.
A significant winter storm continued in northeast Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains, where the National Weather Service forecast continuing snow showers over the higher elevations through Wednesday morning.