Winter Storm Maya: Northeast, New England Schools Remain Closed; Snowy Crash Kills One

Ron Brackett and Pam Wright
Published: February 13, 2019

Winter Storm Maya began to release its hold on the Northeast Wednesday after creating a travel nightmare along many roads, including in New Jersey, where numerous crashes left motorists injured and and at least one person dead.

Some schools in the Northeast were either canceled once again on Wednesday or had delayed openings. Government offices that were closed Tuesday in New Jersey reopened on Wednesday.

As the storm pushed into New England on Tuesday, public schools in Hartford, Connecticut, announced they also would be closed on Wednesday. Officials said spinouts continued to be an issue in the state Wednesday morning as crews worked to clear out the wintry mess, NBC Connecticut reported.

(MORE: The Latest on Winter Storm Nadia

It was a frightening moment Wednesday for a man in Portland, Maine, when he slipped off a gangway between a pier and a boat. The man was rescued by firefighters and hospitalized for exposure.

Winds kicked up by Maya may have caused a United Airlines plane to hit a jet bridge at the Buffalo airport as it was departing for Newark, New Jersey. None of the 158 people on board Flight 1442 were injured Wednesday morning.

A postal carrier carries mail along First Avenue as snow falls Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in Wausau, Wisconsin.
(T'xer Zhon Kha/The Post-Crescent via AP)

By early Wednesday, power had been restored to many of the tens of thousands of customers who found themselves without power during the height of the storm, according to PowerOutage.us.

Maya was responsible for hundreds of crashes across the Midwest and Northeast, including a fatal crash Tuesday along Interstate 80 in Hope Township, New Jersey.

Officials say they responded to a single-vehicle crash around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday that left one person dead and two others injured, according to WRNJ Radio. New Jersey State Police Trooper Alejandro Goez told the radio station that 25-year-old Genesis Dacosta-Gomez was driving the vehicle as it left the road and hit a tree.

Both Dacosta-Gomez and 65-year-old Maria Delosantos-Rosario were seriously injured, but another passenger, 71-year-old Louise Dacosta-Gomez, was killed, the report noted. Authorities are still investigating, but the winter storm was dumping snow on the area at the time of the crash.

In a separate incident, officials in Woodbridge, New Jersey, said several passengers were injured when a bus overturned on slippery roads at about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, according to WABC-TV. It wasn't immediately known how many passengers were hurt, but Goez told NJ.com that the injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

In North Dakota, a woman was hospitalized early Tuesday morning after she was struck by a snowplow at North Dakota's Hector International Airport.

People walk through the snow and sleet in Manhattan on Feb. 12, 2019 in New York City.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Fargo Police Sergeant Matt Ysteboe told Inforum.com the unidentified the woman was walking in front of the airport around 3 a.m. Tuesday when the driver of the snowplow did not see her and accidentally backed into her. The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment and is expected to be fine.

A military plane carrying members of Congress en route to Michigan for the funeral of former U.S. Rep. John Dingell had to turn around and return to Washington D.C. because of the weather, the Associated Press reported. Hundreds of schools were canceled in Michigan on Tuesday, and stretches of Interstates 75 and 275 were closed at times because of the conditions, the AP also said.

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In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency ahead of the winter storm's arrival. Interstates 287 and 78 were closed to commercial vehicles during the emergency declaration, which took effect at midnight Tuesday.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday the state of emergency declaration he signed in January remains in effect to allow for increased assistance with storm-related needs.

Flights Canceled, Emergency Declared in Pacific Northwest

Earlier in the week, Maya dumped heavy snow on Seattle and other parts of Washington and Oregon, forcing hundreds of flight cancellations, knocking out power to tens of thousands and prompting Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency. The snow continued spread to Idaho and Montana, where Interstate 15 joined the list of highways closed in that region.

A driver was stuck in his car for more than two hours Saturday after a gas tanker slid into the SUV on an icy overpass from I-5 to I-84 in Portland, KVAL.com reported. The tanker pinned the SUV to the bridge railing. Firefighters had to pull the SUV driver through a window. He was not injured.

In Washington's Yakima Valley, dairy farmers say the recent winter storms have killed some 1,600 cows, KIMA-TV reported. Farmers are working day and night to keep the cows as warm as possible, but the winter storms and frigid cold have taken a toll.

"These have been the worst few days of my life," an unnamed farmer told KIMA. "We’re just devastated. I don’t think we’ve ever been hit with weather like this."


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