The winter storm pummeling the eastern half of the United States has created incredibly dangerous travel conditions across the nation, resulting in numerous accidents and three deaths in two separate crashes outside of Baltimore.
Interstate 95 near Baltimore has become a particularly dangerous corridor, with the three fatalities occurring less than 10 miles apart. A 55-car pileup and a fuel tanker explosion added to weather-induced chaos on the interstate. The fuel tanker, which overturned, drove through a guard rail on a frozen overpass, fell off the elevated portion of I-95 and burst into flames in downtown Baltimore.
The Maryland Transportation Authority completely shut down the roadway in Baltimore for part of the day, but reopened its northbound lane Saturday afternoon. The MDTA was still in the midst of clearing cars on Saturday afternoon.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan released a statement on Saturday, saying, "I strongly urge all Marylanders to use common sense and put their safety first by heeding all travel warnings from state and local authorities. Road conditions in many areas of the state are still extremely dangerous, and all those who can avoid travel should stay off the roads until conditions have improved.
In St. Louis, the fire department reported more than 50 vehicle accidents and 40 falls. A firefighter was also struck by a vehicle and remains in serious but stable conditions.
Two to five inches of snow were reported to have accumulated across the Northeast and a second bout of cold was expected to create icy conditions. The wintry precipitation is expected to taper off, ending by late Sunday after leaving treacherous conditions in the Mid-Atlantic region.
"It's pretty much winding down especially in the Northeast," said Senior Weather Channel Meteorologist Dave Houtz. "There's still a little bit of freezing rain in parts of New England. Most of it is either rain or snow at this point. It's just foggy and drizzly in New York City, otherwise most of the precipitation is pretty light."
There will be some severe weather in parts of the South tonight, from Louisiana through Mississippi and up into Tennessee. Meteorologists report that it will likely consist of wind, hail and thunderstorms, but tornadoes are possible.
"It is snowing from Colorado to Iowa and Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and northern New York and most of New England north of Boston," said Houtz.