West News Wire: 75 million people in 33 states, from the Dakotas to Georgia to Maine, are on high alert for a huge winter storm and freezing temperatures from Saturday through Monday.

There are at least 11 winter weather alerts and advisories in force, including a wind chill advisory for parts of the Northeast, where wind chills were as low as minus 40 degrees F early Saturday.

A winter storm watch is also in force for a much-anticipated winter storm that has already dropped more than a foot of snow in North Dakota and Iowa.

More snow, ice, and rain are predicted as the storm moves southeast toward the mid-Mississippi states Saturday and Sunday, and then northeast Sunday and Monday.

Three to 6 inches of snow is possible in parts of the South, with Atlanta having the potential to see its first measurable snowfall in four years. Six to 18 inches of snow is possible in the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

The interior Northeast up through New England is expected to get hit with 6 to 18 inches of snow. Coastal areas of the Northeast, including Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, could see up to 3 inches of snow, though that will likely get washed away as the snow changes to rain by early Monday.

Wind chills Sunday morning will be in the single digits from Philadelphia to New York City to Boston and dip below zero in northern New England.

Strong, gusty winds are also a concern across a large swath of the South, with wind alerts in effect from Texas to the Carolinas, with the concern for isolated power outages and wind damage.

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Flight aware is already reporting more than 2,000 U.S. flight cancellations for Sunday, including nearly 1,100 at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. More than 80% of the airport’s flights that day. Other affected airports include Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Dangerous road conditions, as well as power outages, are expected throughout the holiday weekend. The Interstate 95 corridor will likely see a wintry mix of rain, snow and ice Sunday into Monday.

Four states Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia  declared states of emergency Friday ahead of the storm, while West Virginia declared a statewide “state of preparedness.”

In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp said agencies are preparing to mobilize and deploy resources as needed in the state, as well as to aid neighboring states if needed.

Atlanta also is preparing for snow, with Mayor Andre Dickens telling Elwyn Lopez of “Good Morning America”: “We have 40 pieces of equipment that’s ready to go. We have 300 employees. Gallons and gallons of brine. So we’re trying to stay ahead of it.”

 

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