Storm dumps snow, rain on US Northeast; search on for Georgia toddler

Storm clouds approach emergency crews at the scene of a house cut in half by a tornado near where seven people were killed outside Adel, Georgia USA on Jan 22, 2017.
Storm clouds approach emergency crews at the scene of a house cut in half by a tornado near where seven people were killed outside Adel, Georgia USA on Jan 22, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

(REUTERS) - A powerful storm that killed at least 21 people in the southern United States over the weekend brought snow, heavy rain and gusty winds to the Northeast on Tuesday (Jan 24) as searchers combed Georgia tornado wreckage for a missing toddler.

The storm, known as a nor'easter, dumped from 15 to 20 cm of snow on New York's Catskills as well as mountains in Pennsylvania and New England, along with a heavy mix of freezing rain and sleet, said Brian Hurley, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

"A lot of places are seeing snowfall in the 2- to 4-inch (5- to 10-cm) range because not all of it is snow," he said. Much of the Northeast was under winter storm warnings or advisories.

Wind gusts of more than 97 km per hour also were recorded all along the East Coast, Hurley said. The high winds caused scattered power outages, with Eversource Energy reporting about 4,400 customers in New England without power.

The snow and ice is expected to taper off through Wednesday morning as the storm system heads into Canada's Maritime provinces, the National Weather Service said.

School districts across the region cancelled or delayed the start of classes due to icy roads. Local news outlets showed footage of snow-covered roads and vehicles thickly glazed with ice.

In southern Georgia, police with dogs searched through the ruins of the Piney Woods Mobile Home Park and adjacent woods near Albany for a two-year-old boy missing since a tornado flattened the area on Sunday.

Search teams had looked all day Monday and through the night for the toddler. Local media said the child had slipped away from his mother before their home was destroyed.

The storm was part of the system that killed at least 21 people, 16 of them in Georgia, before roaring up the East Coast.

Another winter storm plowing east out of the Rocky Mountains could drop from 6 to 15 inches (15 to 38 cm) of snow on parts of South Dakota and Nebraska before weakening as it reaches the upper Midwest on Wednesday, Hurley said.