Hundreds of motorists were stranded Thursday on an interstate highway in Kentucky as a major winter storm system dumped snow, sleet, freezing rain and flooding rains across a 1,500-mile stretch of the United States.
The storm, which dumped as much as 2 feet of snow, also created thousands of power outages, including more than 60,000 in West Virginia.
"Basically the storm followed a long boundary between warm and cold air from the southern Plains through the mid-Atlantic," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Evan Duffey said. "We have seen some impressive intrusions of cold air this winter as many are aware, however it finally looks as though warm air is fighting back. This allowed a long southwest to northeast storm track."
"The good news is this is the beginnings of a pattern change for the eastern U.S. that will begin to usher in some seasonable temperatures for the region."
Interstate 64 was closed between Reidland and Cadiz, Kentucky, due to heavy snowfall. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear activated the Kentucky National Guard to assist stranded motorists.
It was the second time in more than 10 years that the Guard assisted motorists on that same stretch of interstate. More than 1,000 people were stranded in December 2004 when up to 2 feet of snow fell across the region.
A jetliner slid off the runway Thursday at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Minor injuries were reported.