Tens of millions of people have found themselves in the path of Winter Storm Grayson, one of the most powerful winter storms in the country’s history. The blizzard dumped freezing rain, sleet, and snow in the Southeast on Wednesday before charging up the coast and becoming more destructive along its way.
Thousands of fights have been cancelled and over 75,000 people have lost power in 11 states. The Northeast is getting slammed with snow and winds are gusting up to as high as 76 miles per hour as the storm continues to strengthen off the coast.
The system blasted past Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina on Wednesday, leaving behind the first measurable snowfall that Tallahassee has seen in 28 years. Charleston received 3 hours of freezing rain followed by enough snow to nearly break a snowfall record from 1989.
When the storm arrived in New England on Thursday, near hurricane-force winds caused high-tide flooding in and around Boston. According to CNN, the tide gauge at Boston Harbor hit 15.1 feet, an impact that has not occurred in almost 40 years.
Overall, about 30 coastal communities in Massachusetts experienced coastal flooding, according to The Weather Channel. Streets, cars, and homes were submerged in icy water, with reports of cars stranded and some even floating down the streets.
The storm was upgraded to a bomb cyclone after the pressure dropped an astounding 53 millibars in 21 hours, according to the National Weather Service. This designation is given to any storm that experiences a drop in pressure of at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.
Currently, there are 55 million people under winter alerts. In the Northeast, hurricane force wind gusts are predicted this evening and major coastal flooding is possible.
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer