The land of ice and snow: Portion of US blanketed by storm, cold temps

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A powerful winter storm dumped snow from Nashville to Nantucket, and artic-like temperatures gripped much of the U.S. and hundreds of thousands of people were without power in the South.

While some people shivered, others bundled up and tried to make the best of a frustrating situation. Here's a look at how people were handling the land of ice, snow and subzero temperatures.


Some things just won't wait, as Jerry Nuesell can attest.

With his wife 33 weeks pregnant, the couple was headed to the doctor's office when Lisa's contractions led them to UNC Hospitals for the arrival of their first born, a boy.

"Turned out the little fellow was ready to make an appearance much sooner than we planned," Nuesell said Tuesday.

He watched his son be born, then drove 30 miles back to Cary, North Carolina, to take care of their dachshund, Schnitzel. Ice covered most of his windshield and the drive wasn't easy.

"I had probably a good 6-inch-by-6-inch square that I had to peer through to get the best vision," he said. "On multiple occasions, I thought this might not be the best idea."


The tourism office of Ithaca, New York, is waving the white flag, advising visitors on its website to check out the Florida Keys instead.'s home page displays sunny photos from Florida and provides links to Florida Keys information.

The top of the page reads: "That's it. We surrender. Winter, you win. Key West anyone?"

Ithaca and the rest of upstate New York have been in the grips of a snowy and brutally cold winter.


In Sterling, Virginia, high-school wrestlers are training for the state tournament, but with practices canceled, they have had to find a workout. Some head to Top of the Podium, a nonprofit youth wrestling facility.

Tom Houck, a former college wrestler who runs the place, opens up on snow days and holds open mat sessions.

"If they're trying to make weight, it's critical that they get their workout in," Houck said.

The first snow day this school year saw only five or six wrestlers. As word spread, nearly 60 wrestlers are showing up.


"I'll just back up and fly out," is the strategy Brent Seney had for freeing his black convertible Mazda Miata from the snow in the nation's capital Tuesday.

Despite the thick blanket of snow along his street, Seney, 60, was confident his sporty ride could handle the roads. In fact, he planned to drive to his boat harbored at James Creek Marina in southwest Washington.

"I'll shovel the snow off, make sure it's not frozen too much because the harbor is all frozen in," Seney said.


Trudging along a snowy sidewalk, Robin Winter and her daughter, Melissa, made their way to a Metro station in Washington so Mom could catch her flight home to St. Louis.

Robin Winter, carrying multiple bags and sporting a sock monkey hat, said she'd gotten into town Thursday, and had been watching the forecasts as the snow made its way across the country.

"If I would have decided to fly out Sunday night instead, you never know for sure if it's gonna really happen until it really happens," she said.

The Winters were optimistic the flight would not be canceled, though they were prepared for a delay. It appeared her flight left on time, but others weren't so lucky. More than 1,800 flights were canceled at many airports, from Nashville, Tennessee, to the nation's capital.


Even though the snow in D.C. wasn't ideal for a fight, people showed up anyway, some in costumes and battle gear. One wore a ski helmet and goggles, another had on a giraffe costume, and one wore a Captain America shirt and carried a shield.

"It's not really snowball material. You can kind of get one, but it's a lot of squeezing," said Reco Thomas, of Alexandria, Virginia, as she tried to compact fluffy snow.

Rob Grell, a George Washington University medical student dressed as Batman, carried fellow student Shaunak Mulani on his shoulders as people pelted the two of them.

"This is overall just a fine time," Mulani said as he shook off snow.


The sound of 61-year-old Joe Peldunas shoveling his driveway echoed across the otherwise quiet Marywood neighborhood in North Durham, North Carolina, around 8 a.m. Tuesday. No one else on his cul-de-sac was out, and there were few tracks in the layer of snow and ice more than a half inch thick on the road.

"This snow is probably going to stick around for a few days," he said, adding that he wanted to clear his driveway as soon as possible.

Indeed, forecasters warned that temperatures over the next few days wouldn't provide much relief.


After two hours of shoveling his steep driveway in the Cabe's Mill subdivision of north Durham, North Carolina, 68-year-old Clay Shepherd was only halfway done. Still, he didn't seem anywhere close to running out of energy. He was considering an afternoon hike along the nearby Eno River.

"It happens to be my 68th birthday. I didn't imagine I'd be doing this," he said, wearing a green sweater, dark jeans and a knit cap.

"The driveway doesn't get much sun, and if you don't get it, it's not going to melt," he said.


Scott Birch spent part of his Tuesday morning clearing about 5 inches of snow from the sidewalk in front of a downtown Richmond building he owns that houses a hair salon. He lives in the apartment above it.

"I'm glad we got lots of snow instead of bits and pieces of it," he said, leaning on his shovel. "Maybe we'll get it out of the way."

Birch also owns a roofing company and he told his crew of 35 roofers to take the day off. He said he expects his employees will be out shoveling snow off roofs on Wednesday.

"Once this stuff starts melting there is a lot of weight," Birch said.