'Bombogenesis' brings first Florida snow in 30 years

'Bombogenesis' brings first Florida snow in 30 years

'Bombogenesis' brings first Florida snow in 30 years

An intense storm packing strong winds and heavy snow is hitting the northeastern USA, dumping piles of snow on the region.

The wintry mix and low wind chills caused widespread power outages and icy roads, making commuting treacherous for millions of Americans from northern Florida to southern Virginia, the National Weather Service said.

On its Twitter account, the Tallahassee Police Department warned motorists that ice could form on bridges early Wednesday. Morrone said gusts of 40 to 50 miles an hour could sweep parts of NY, especially southern Queens.

Airports shut down in Savannah, Charleston and elsewhere as airlines cancelled 500 flights Wednesday, and at least 1,700 more were cancelled Thursday.

The National Weather Service also warned of unsafe driving conditions across the region from icy roads and low visibility. The National Weather Service recorded 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) of snow - Savannah's first measurable snowfall since February 2010 and the first that exceeded an inch (2.5 centimeters) in 28 years.

Also in the Orlando area, theme parks closed water attractions due to cold weather.

Nevertheless, the cold is nothing to trifle with, forecasters warned.

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State and local officials urged residents to prepare for possible power losses and stay home so crews can clear streets and roads of what could be as much as foot or more of snow in some places.

Atlanta hospitals were seeing a surge in emergency room visits for hypothermia and other ailments as temperatures plunge well below freezing.

Warming shelters were opened across the South as freeze watches and warnings blanketed the region, including hard freeze warnings for much of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

At least 17 deaths were blamed on dangerously cold temperatures that for days have gripped wide swaths of the USA from Texas to New England. However, this is the most snowfall the city has seen in 28 years.

In New York, transportation officials suspended the Newburgh-Beacon commuter ferry service on Tuesday because of icy conditions on the Hudson River. Visitors took pictures of a frozen fountain in a park in the city's center.

At a news conference, SC governor Henry McMaster warned people in the eastern part of the state to stay indoors if possible and to keep pets indoors. Nonetheless, African elephants, lions and gorillas were being sheltered out of public view because of the dangerously low temperatures.

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