More emergencies declared as winter storm hits eastern U.S.

January 17, 2022

SJ Munoz


Winter has entered 2022 like a lion for much of the country.

Portions of the Midwest and West recently enacted emergency declarations, and now similar conditions are creating issues in the eastern half of the United States.

A major winter storm with heavy snow and strong winds is forecast to hit the Northeast, and as far south as Georgia, according to the National Weather Service. Dangerous travel conditions, power outages and coastal flooding are expected.

Relief from regulations

A Massachusetts emergency order remains in effect until Feb. 6, and was necessitated by, “below average cold temperatures that have caused an increased demand for fuel.”

The Massachusetts declaration provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicles while providing direct assistance supporting the delivery of propane and heating and fuel oil into the affected areas and to consumers during the emergency, the order states.

In Georgia an emergency declaration was enacted with as much as 5 inches of snow expected in northeast Georgia. The order, which includes an hours of service exemptions for commercial motor vehicle drivers, is in effect until Jan. 22.

North Carolina and South Carolina also have orders in place providing hours of service relief due to severe winter weather.

Latest conditions

Pennsylvania announced on Jan. 17 that PennDOT has lifted all restrictions on Interstate 81 from Interstate 80 to the New York state line. However, a 45-mph speed reduction remained in effect and all commercial vehicles were restricted to the right lane.

“Although PennDOT has crews treating roadways around the clock, the department’s primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow,” the PennDOT news release stated. “PennDOT will continue to treat roadways throughout the storm until precipitation stops and roads are clear.”

Upward of 1 foot of snow is predicted for portions of Pennsylvania.

Due to predicted snow, sleet ice and freezing, Virginia enacted a state of emergency set to expire on Feb. 13.

As of Jan. 17, WSLS-TV forecast as much as 8 inches of snow for parts of Virginia.

Earlier this month, Virginia’s Interstate 95 became a “parking lot” with some motorists stranded for more than 24 hours as 11 inches of snow fell.

“This area is still dealing with the consequences of last week’s back-to-back events, including power restoration and significant debris removal,” the order said.

As of Monday morning, nine states on the East Coast were reporting between 10,000 and 50,000 customers without electricity, according to PowerOutage.US. LL