Reporting Kai Jackson
FROSTBURG, Md. (WJZ)—Hundreds of thousands of people are in the dark this Halloween night. Their power was knocked out by an early snowstorm. At least 21 people have died from downed wires, trees and slippery crashes.
Kai Jackson has the problems here in Maryland and beyond.
Here in Baltimore we were spared most of the serious winter weather. But the further west you go, the worse the conditions.
When the snowstorm blew into Maryland, it hit hardest in the western part of the state, where it still covers the hills in Frostburg.
At the height of the storm, more than 25,000 people in Western Maryland were without power, and roads were treacherous.
“This is very early. Broke a lot of trees, did a lot of damage,” said Cora Carter, Frostburg resident.
“I’ve never seen it this early, and I’m 82 years old,” said Wanda Richardson, Frostburg resident. “It made it look like Christmas Eve. Would have been a pretty Christmas Eve.”
Up and down the East Coast, heavy snow brought trees down on homes and power lines.
“The tree wound up falling, breaking and crushing the whole side of the house where my mother was sleeping,” said Megan Fitzgerald.
At the height of the storm, more than 3 million people were in the dark.
Snow stranded travelers on the road and stranded air travelers. Near Hartford, Conn., 23 diverted flights were stuck on the tarmac at Bradley International Airport– some up to seven hours. One frustrated pilot pleaded for help.
“I have a paraplegic on board that needs to come off,” said a JetBlue pilot. “I have a diabetic on here that’s got an issue. I gotta get some help.”
“Behind us there was almost a fight,” said Jimmy Brown, paraplegic passenger. “In front of us, people are yelling ‘Just bring the stairs. Let us get off this plane,’ yelling at the pilot, yelling at the attendant.”
JetBlue and American Airlines are both facing thousands of dollars in fines for the delays, new penalties, under transportation department rules that went into effect last year.
The snow canceled more than 1,200 flights.
And that’s not all this early snowstorm canceled. In many New England states, Halloween trick-or-treating had to be called off because conditions are still too treacherous.
The total snowfall in this storm ranged from less than an inch in some places to 32 inches in others.