- Associated Press - Sunday, December 8, 2013

RICHMOND (AP) — Rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain began to glaze most of the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday, with officials urging people to stay off the roads, as North Texas and other states shook off the early remnants of the powerful storm.

Virginia, parts of West Virginia and the Washington area braced for a winter’s smorgasbord as utility crews were at the ready. The treacherous conditions were to continue most of Sunday.

“We’re actually getting something of everything,” said meteorologist Anita Silverman in the Blacksburg, Va., office of the National Weather Service.

Parts of northwest and southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia were getting snow, while sleet and freezing rain prevailed west and north of Richmond. A handful of cancellations were reported at Richmond International Airport. In Baltimore, officials canceled the mayor’s annual Christmas parade because of snowy weather as road conditions deteriorated.

In North Texas, bitter cold settled in Sunday after sleet, snow and ice pelted the region. About 400 departures from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport were canceled Sunday. On Interstate 35 north of Dallas, graders with blades to break up thick ice were brought in. The area was expected to see temperatures slightly above freezing Sunday, with a bit of sunshine, but it will likely be a couple of days before the ice that has coated the region is gone.

Forecasters said the potent system, already blamed for numerous power outages and thousands of weekend flight cancellations elsewhere, is expected to move up to the Northeast.

Icy conditions were expected to last through the rest of the weekend from Texas to Ohio to Tennessee. And officials warned that a major ice storm was possible in Virginia’s Appalachian region along the busy Interstate 81 corridor.

Snow along I-81 in northwest Virginia was making driving treacherous on Sunday, with at least one vehicle reported plowing through 40 feet of guardrail. State police reported no significant crashes.

Forecasters said motorists traveling I-81 between Roanoke, Va., and Hagerstown, Md., should be on the lookout for any deterioration in conditions.

“We are encouraging people to stay off the roads,” said Tamara Rollison of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

State Emergency Management spokeswoman Laura Southard said the storm had the potential to be a “historic ice event” in Virginia.

“I’ve worked multiple disasters, but I’ve never worked an ice storm with a forecast like this,” she said. “It’s just really important for everybody to take extra precautions.”

Dominion Virginia Power, the state’s largest utility, said that the storm could knock down tree limbs and power lines and that it had company trucks “stocked and fueled” and crews ready to respond.

Forecasters said the storm caused freezing rain and icy conditions in parts of Tennessee as it surged across that state late Saturday and early Sunday. It also has been blamed for plunging temperatures as a cold front sweeps down from the North on the jet stream.

Bob Nations Jr., director of the emergency operations command center for the Memphis, Tenn., area, said early Sunday that ice coating roads, bridges and overpasses caused several multivehicle crashes. He issued a statement urging drivers to use extreme caution, particularly on bridges and overpasses.

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