More than 50 million under winter weather alerts across the East Coast with snow and
After causing widespread power outages and major road closures across the Southeast on Sunday, the winter storm will shift to bring heavy snowfall to the Northeast.
Strong winds could also lead to flooding along the coast from Virginia to Maine, Guy said. Buffalo could see wind gusts up to 45 mph Monday, while New York City may get 55 mph gusts overnight Sunday into Monday and some parts of Maine could see gusts up to 65 mph.
Cold air behind the storm system and a prior arctic plunge over the Northeast will keep temperatures below freezing in that region until Wednesday, while parts of the South and Mid-Atlantic will see temperature recovery by Tuesday, Guy said. But, another round of bitter cold and possible snow is shaping up for the end of this week, he added.
Drivers warned to stay home due to slick roadways
While the worst impacts of the storm are shifting Northeast, roads will remain dangerous across much of the Southeast Monday, especially on overpasses and at higher elevations, Guy said.
Temperatures at or near freezing will keep roads slick in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Asheville, North Carolina, and areas to the north through central Ohio.
There could also be icing issues Monday in areas like Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Roanoke, Virginia, and Charleston, North Carolina, Guy said.
The governors of Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina activated members of the National Guard to help with storm response.
“They’re equipped with emergency response vehicles that can move through the snow,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said of the 200 Guard members deployed in his state.
“As much as eight to 12 inches of snow has fallen in some counties, and significant icing is causing trouble in the central part of the state,” Cooper said Sunday.
Authorities responded to more than 400 crashes Sunday, North Carolina State Highway Patrol spokesperson First Sgt. Christopher Knox told CNN Sunday night.
He said two people, both age 41 and from Myrtle Beach, SC, were killed Sunday morning on I-95 in Nash County after their vehicle traveled off the road and struck several trees in the median.
“Exceeding a safe speed for the conditions is the proximate cause of the collision,” Knox said. “Weather at the time was a mixture of wintry precipitation.”
And in Virginia, 75 service members were staged for storm response, including “personnel with chain saws for clearing fallen trees and heavy duty tactical vehicles capable of traveling through deep snow at key locations,” the Virginia National Guard said in a news release.
The National Weather Service office in Atlanta reported numerous accidents across north Georgia Sunday and Gov. Brian Kemp asked residents to stay off the roads.
Storm spawned tornadoes in Florida
But the system brought much more dangerous conditions to southwest Florida, where at least two tornadoes destroyed at least 28 homes in Lee County and damaged others, officials said.
At least 62 homes are currently “unlivable,” said Cecil Pendergrass, co-chairman of the county’s board of commissioners, at a news conference.
One twister was an EF2 tornado with maximum winds of 118 mph. It may have completely destroyed 30 mobile homes of the 108 mobile homes damaged near Fort Myers, according to a damage survey by the National Weather Service.
Four injuries were reported, but no one was taken to a hospital, officials said.
In Charlotte County, north of Fort Myers, an EF1 tornado with winds of 110 mph left behind a path of destruction, according to the weather service.
“A waterspout moved across Gasparilla sound near Boca Grande Causeway before then moved ashore as a short-lived tornado near Placida damaging at least 35 homes and a marina storage facility,” the NWS said in a bulletin.
CNN’s Gene Norman, Chris Boyette, Claudia Dominguez, and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.