Just as the new year started, the mid to northeastern part of the country braced itself for the first snowfall of the season that brought some parts of the region up to 30 inches of snow. (photos by J.J. McQueen)

By J.J. McQueen
Special to the AFRO

As people made plans to celebrate the new year, weather forecasters began to warn residents from the mountains of the Carolinas and throughout the DMV about the possibility of a major snow storm. Old man winter made his presence known with a rage that hasn’t been seen since January 2016, when a  blizzard hit the same parts of the mid-Atlantic region.

In the weeks leading up to the snow storm, the country saw numerous tornadoes in Kentucky and the Ohio region, earthquakes in California, and wildfires within the western states. They’re all events that support scientists’ studies as to how the drastic chain of events may have been prompted by climate change.   

In September 2021, scientists shared in an online article from BBC about the effects of global warming, climate change and the possibility of drastic weather changes for the upcoming year due to accelerated warming in the Arctic. It is hard to believe that just the day before the snowstorm hit, the temperature was around 60 degrees. 

At one point the intense storm left an estimated 400,00 residents along its path without power, and thousands of travelers stranded along I-95 and surrounding interstate roads. It’s taken a full 48-hours for DOT workers and law enforcement agencies to remove stranded motorists and truckers for the now passable highways. With much work left to do in Northern Virginia, residents are still working to remove fallen trees and debris from roads. 

“Don’t come to Central Avenue on the Prince Georges County side, the roads are still impassable. You’ll end up getting stuck,” Maryland resident Letisha Flake warned travelers about conditions in the Washington D.C.- metro area.  

“Even with adequate notice of the storm’s arrival, the possibility of being fully staffed would still be a question mark. The department of transportation within this region still may not have been able to handle the nature of this storm. With COVID all around us, we just didn’t have enough free hands to help. Thank God for the good people and residents that live along these roadways, they helped save thousands of lives today, hopefully they’ll be around when the sun comes up,” said a Maryland State Trooper who asked not to be identified. 

The 50-mile blanket of the year and the season’s first winter blast left several people dead, some stranded while others waited out the storm at home.

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