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Weekly Wrap-Up: Warmth in Eastern US Yields Relief From Winter's Wrath but Triggers Falling Ice, Flooding

Following a bitterly cold start to March for much of the eastern U.S., springlike warmth surged across the Midwest and Northeast this week, bringing relief from winter's relentless barrage of frigid air and winter storms.

As Boston recovers from the piles of snow from the recent winter storms, springlike conditions have created another problem: large, dense chunks of ice have been plummeting from area buildings and smashing into parked vehicles.

In the Boston suburb of Burlington, Massachusetts, local firemen responded to slab of ice that pierced the front windshield of an occupied car.

WBZ reported that the woman sitting in the driver's seat at the time of the incident was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at an area hospital.

Also this week, in the area of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, located on Cape Cod, dozens of large, human-sized icebergs now litter the shores and coastal waters.

"It's obvious that the ice 'boulders' have a more complex history than the typical ice found on calmer waters such as lakes and sluggish rivers," Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.

"Most likely it is formed by the bashing together of pancake ice or ice floes," Andrews said. However, as warmer air surged into the region, these massive ice boulders started to melt.

At Central Park in New York City on Wednesday, the high hit 59 F, NWS reported, adding that it has not been near 60 F since Dec. 25 when the temperature hit 62 F.

While the warmer weather was welcome, flooding due to snowmelt and runoff became another concern for much of the Ohio Valley this week.

Farther south, enough rain fell across portions of the Gulf states to cause flooding issues, as rounds of rain spread in from the Gulf of Mexico.

One batch of rain affected areas from Texas to the Ohio Valley from Monday into Tuesday, raising flooding concerns and burdening motorists in the South.

Due to the heavy downpours, flooding was reported across Louisiana Tuesday night. The wet weather continued through Wednesday in the region, but despite the drawbacks, the rain is welcome in parts of Texas, Arkansas and central Gulf Coast that are currently experiencing a drought.

Along with the milder air and rain, dense fog engulfed areas from the Deep South to the Midwest at times this week.

A helicopter crashed amid dense fog during a routine training exercise near the Eglin Military Base in the Florida Panhandle on Tuesday night. The crash occurred near the Navarre Bridge in Navarre, Florida, roughly 20 miles from the base. Seven marines and four crew members were feared dead.

"At 8:30 p.m. CST when the crash was said to occur, fog was reducing the visibility to 1/4 to 1 mile in the area," Meteorologist Meghan Mussoline said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marines, soldiers and family members of those involved in this mishap. We are working closely with all parties involved to locate our Marines and the Army aircrew as soon as possible," Maj. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command said Wednesday morning.

Several meteorologists and staff writers contributed content to this article. Thumbnail image courtesy Burlington Fire Department.