Life on the East Coast turned chaotic as winter storm Frida struck. It dropped nearly eleven inches of snow in the region and led to the closure of government offices and schools in D.C. The combination of heavy snowfall and closures because of a surge in coronavirus cases forced much of Washington to shut down. The conditions forced many airlines to go in for the cancellation of flights.

The strong wind gusts and continuous snowfall made road travel difficult. In Virginia, state police had to respond to several traffic accidents. One of these was a crash involving six tractor-trailers.

The holiday week witnessed a large number of flight cancellations. This, coupled with the surges in COVID-19 cases and the winter storm Frida, limited the travel options.

The storm could dump up to 18 inches of snow in the eastern U.S. region. The weather service cautioned about up to 35 mph wind gusts and added that travel would be difficult because of the hazardous conditions. A recent winter storm in California closed a highway and saw a car pile-up in Nevada.

Inclement weather and winter storm Frida

The storm forced many COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites in Virginia and Maryland to shut down. Winter storm Frida did not spare even the President. It ground his helicopter, and he had no other option but to travel by road from Andrews Air Force Base to the White House.

It took nearly an hour.

President Joe Biden returned to Washington after spending about a week in Delaware. Given the snow blanketing the streets, the authorities canceled the White House Press briefing. However, other public events of the President went ahead. The Weather Prediction Center mentioned that some areas could get about two inches of snow per hour.

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Power outage a curse of the storm

Thousands of customers faced power outages. A weather service meteorologist in Virginia explained: “‘when we are talking highly populated areas, increasing accumulation of snow becomes problematic.” Virginia State Police had to attend to several crashes and vehicles stuck on the roads.

North Alabama had as much as six inches of snow.

In many places, wrecks blocked the roads and disrupted traffic flow. New York City Mayor Eric Adams deployed the salt trucks as a precautionary measure. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency and advised residents to avoid travel. Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. declared a snow emergency.

Airlines cancel flights because of a winter storm and omicron cases

According to Washington Times, a combination of winter storm Frida and skyrocketing cases of omicron forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights. The cancellations in thousands were flights within, into, or out of the United States. These have disappointed the holiday crowd.

The national spike in Omicron has affected a large section of the crews.

These translate into operational issues for the airlines, and the customers' travel plans go haywire. A spokesperson from one of the airlines said: “The number of COVID-related sick calls is consistent with what we have seen over the past few days.”