'Snowquester' Brings Blackouts and Travel Delays to Northeast

PHOTO: Volunteers remove a downed tree on the road near Chancellorsville, Va. A snowstorm blanketed the Fredericksburg region, March 6, 2013, closing schools, county governments and roads.
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The winter storm that hit the Midwest and forced hundreds of flights to be canceled has arrived on the East Coast. A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia, where 200,000 are without power and heavy wet snow continues to fall. Some 20 inches of snow had fallen in Augusta County, Va., by mid-afternoon.

Winter storm warnings and weather advisories are in effect for much of Virginia, extending along the I-95 corridor into the greater Philadelphia area, the National Weather Service said. Snow totals reached two feet in West Virginia as of Wednesday evening and over a foot of snow has been reported in southern Pennsylvania.

The storm prompted a shutdown of federal offices and schools the Washington, D.C., region Wednesday. As of Wednesday evening, there was little accumulation in the city, but nearly 7 inches of snow fell to the west.

The Nor'easter -- dubbed "snowquester" -- will continue to move up the coast, said forecasters. A total accumulation of 3 inches is expected in New York City by Friday. Boston residents should expect 2-4 inches, with higher totals of 6-8 inches inland from Worcester, Mass. to just north of Providence, R.I.

Coastal flood warnings and advisories are in effect for portions of the Atlantic coastline from Maryland to Long Island.

SLIDESHOW: Wicked Winter Weather

A high wind warning is in effect along the Delaware and New Jersey coasts until 3 a.m. Thursday and coastal flood warnings are also in place through Thursday morning. Parts of Delaware and southern New Jersey have picked up 2-4 inches of rain. In addition to wind damage and power losses, a dune breach on Route 1 in Delaware has caused flooding and closed the road between Dewey and Rehoboth Beach.

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, there were more than 2,200 flight cancellations nationwide, the majority in Washington, D.C., according to FlightAware. More than 1,300 flights in and out of the three D.C.-area airports (Reagan, Dulles and BWI) were canceled. More than 300 flights have been canceled to and from Philadelphia.

According to the FAA, the Philadelphia airport is experiencing three-hour delays. New York-area airport delays are averaging two-and-one-half hours. In Boston, delays averaged almost two hours.

Airlines including American, Continental, JetBlue, US Airways and Southwest have announced flexible travel policies, allowing passengers to change flights without penalty. Policies vary by airline.

More than 4,000 flights have been canceled so far this week due to the winter storm.

Amtrak said it is "monitoring" the storm, but anticipated normal operations on Wednesday. Passengers who have paid but choose not to travel due to this service disruption can receive a refund or a voucher for future travel.

Megabus said it was canceling most of its of service between New York, Baltimore and Washington and some services running between Washington and Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Durham, Charlotte, Toronto and Buffalo. Greyhound also reported cancellations and delays in New York City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. and Richmond.

With reporting by Darcy Bonfils, Max Golembo and Samantha Wnek.

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