A severe winter blast is hitting the country right now, dropping more than a foot of snow in some areas of the Midwest.
The storm stretches from Georgia to the New England states.
In Queens, New York, heavy rains and blinding snow were initially blamed for knocking out a power plant transformer. However, Con Edison released a statement Friday morning explaining that an electrical fault at a substation had caused an electrical arc.
“The electrical fault on the 138,000-volt equipment caused a sustained electrical arc flash that was visible across a wide area. The affected equipment was isolated to a single section within the substation,” the power company said.
Resident Madeleine Frank Reeves witnessed the incident from her Upper West Side apartment.
“It was pitch black outside and then suddenly the whole side of the eastern sky was lighting up and changing colors,” she recalled. “It lasted a couple of minutes.”
The arc even caused parts of LaGuardia Airport to lose power.
Meanwhile, the winter weather had travel at a standstill in several states, with I-70 in Kansas shut down Thursday for more than 100 miles in each direction.
“Do not attempt to travel west today,” the Kansas Department of Transportation warned in tweet Thursday morning.
And in Louisiana, heavy rains knocked out a transformer, setting off an impressive light show.
“We went outside and saw what was left of the explosions, so we thought, and we pulled out our phones just in case and it lit up a grand finale for us,” resident Giovanni Bommarito told .
“It was a train wreck you couldn’t look away from. It just kept going and going and it looked like a battlefield from world war I down to Power and down by the IHOP,” Bommarito said.
The traffic nightmare stretched down to Texas where flash floods shut down roads and even swept one car away.
Firefighters were called out to save the driver, who was identified as Julie Roush-Butler, a nurse who says she’s grateful to be alive.
“I’m a believer. I am a nurse. I believe in angels. And all of those firefighters were like angels in heaven,” Roush-Butler told KVUE.
As of Friday morning, the storm is tracking east with mostly heavy rains and possible flash flooding.
“It’s bringing a lot of rain, we have flash flood watches and warnings throughout the East coast, but basically, this is petering out,” Reuters quoted Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the NWS Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
“Think lots of rain, some ice, but I can’t say this is such a dangerous event any more,” Hurley added.
The weather is set to clear up sometime this weekend.
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