February 20, 2012 in Nation/World

Storm dumps snow across South

Dozens of crashes, blackouts reported
Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Vehicles sustained damage in a chain-reaction pileup on Interstate 75 in Campbell County, Tenn., on Sunday.
(Full-size photo)

RICHMOND, Va. – A winter storm on Sunday dumped several inches of snow on a band of Southern states, triggering accidents on slippery roads and knocking out power to tens of thousands.

The storm brought wet snow to parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

In northern Tennessee, about 20 vehicles were involved in crashes along a three-mile stretch of Interstate 75 near the Kentucky border on Sunday afternoon.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Stacy Heatherly said the crashes were reported shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday in near “white-out” conditions caused by heavy snowfall and fog. Police said a juvenile was seriously injured. All lanes of Interstate 75 had reopened by early evening.

Dozens of wrecks were also reported in North Carolina as snow, sleet and rain fell with little accumulation, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

In Virginia, the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 were shut down following a two-vehicle crash that critically injured one man, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The accident was reported at about 6:20 p.m. on I-95 near the interchange with Interstate 295 in Prince George County. The male driver of one vehicle suffered life-threatening injuries, and an adult male passenger in his vehicle was hospitalized.

Snow began sticking in the Richmond area after dark, and Virginia State Police had responded to about 350 crashes by early evening.

Appalachian Power was reporting that 52,000 customers were without power Sunday night in central and southern Virginia, as well as West Virginia. Light snow was also falling on some parts of the Washington, D.C., area.

National Weather Service meteorologist Nick Fillo in Blacksburg, Va., said 5 to 8 inches of snow had fallen in the Blue Ridge Mountains while about 3 to 6 inches had fallen on Virginia’s Piedmont region.

“This was our first real winter storm,” Fillo said.

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