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Storm triggers flooding, major travel disruptions in eastern U.S.

Staff Writer |
A major winter storm walloped the eastern third of the United States with heavy rain, snow, ice and travel disruptions to close out the week.

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The storm was marked by a dramatic temperature contrast with March-like temperatures on the storm’s warmer side and a fresh invasion of arctic air on its back edge.

As a result, many locations from the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee valleys to the interior Northeast that began as rain transitioned to a period of ice and finally snow as the cold air took control.

Surging temperatures combined with soaking rainfall to trigger flash, urban and ice-jam flooding from Ohio to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and part of New England. Rising waters forced road closures and water rescues.

Areas to the south and west of Pittsburgh were hit hard by flooding on Friday morning. The city picked up over 2 inches of rain prior to a changeover to snow.

House rescues were performed in Brady Township, Pennsylvania, due to rising floodwaters, a fireman in New Bethlehem told AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer.

Dozens of rivers from the Ohio Valley to the central Appalachians and New England crested near or at minor flood stage on Friday and Friday night, according to the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.

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