What the winter weather wallop of the Northeast looks like

BY Sarah Sheffer and Lorna Baldwin  February 13, 2014 at 6:47 PM EDT
Google earth

Snow cover of the U.S. Image via Google Earth

Wintery weather shut down much of the eastern seaboard Thursday, as a huge storm system moved north, leaving a thick coat of snow and ice in it’s wake and after leaving a treacherous mess across the south.

The brutal storm was blamed for the deaths of at least 20 people as it barreled down the coast. Ice from the storm caused at least 750,000 people to lose power across the south, after trees limbs crashed into lines under the weight.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his decision to keep schools open. “So many families have to go to work, members of these families have to go to work. They do not have a choice. And they need a safe option for their kids,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, defending his decision to keep schools open despite eight inches of snow. “So as long as we know we can get our kids to school safely, and we can operate our schools effectively, we make that decision.”

Meanwhile, principals at a Durham, N.C. school told their students they were getting a snow day with an “Ice Ice Baby” rap:

The Washington, D.C. area got hit by upwards of 11 inches of snow overnight, shutting down the federal government ahead of the wintery mix. Over 10,000 flights were cancelled on Thursday, stranding travelers in some of the nation’s busiest hubs. Washington’s Reagan Nation and Dulles International airports suspended flight operations Thursday morning, but reopened a single runway by early afternoon. Flight schedule disruptions there and throughout the region are expected to last into Friday.

Amtrak service was cancelled from New York and south of Washington D.C. as well, adding to commuter’s travel woes.

In a nod to the Winter Olympics, the storm was nicknamed Snochi by some on social networking sites. Others, however, were not so thrilled. One official in the Philadelphia area summed up the feelings of many: “Snow has become a four-letter word.”

More snow is expected to fall throughout Thursday evening. We asked people on Facebook to send us photos of what the snow looked like in their part of town. Here’s a snapshot of responses.

Mannassas, Virginia. Photo by Grant W. Trent.

Mannassas, Virginia. Photo by Grant W. Trent.

Glasgow, West Virginia. Photo by Facebook user Shawn Coleman McQuinn.

Glasgow, West Virginia. Photo by Facebook user Shawn Coleman McQuinn.

Guilford, Conn. Photo by Facebook user Linda Young.

Guilford, Conn. Photo by Facebook user Linda Young.

Short Hills, New Jersey. Photo by Arp Trivedi.

Short Hills, New Jersey. Photo by Facebook user Arp Trivedi.