Storm Slams East Coast, Strands Motorists

Hundreds of drivers are stranded in Virginia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 19, 2009 9:20 AM CST
Storm Slams East Coast, Strands Motorists
Jose Sanchez shovels snow from his driveway Saturday in Salisbury, Md.   (AP Photo/Matthew S. Gunby)

A treacherous, frightful wintry storm slammed the East Coast today and dumped more than a foot of snow in some areas, hampering travelers and shoppers on the weekend before Christmas. Officials in Virginia say hundreds of motorists are stranded. Forecasts called for up to 20 inches of snow in some areas, including Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and reaching up to New York.

About 16 inches fell west of Charlottesville, Va., and 8 to 12 inches had already fallen in the nation's capital, the National Weather Service said. After President Obama returned to Andrews Air Force Base from Copenhagen, he returned to the White House via motorcade instead of helicopter because of conditions. Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty had declared a snow emergency for the city and forecasters warned the conditions could worsen. (More winter storm stories.)

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