Powerful, icy winter blast could grip Virginia for days

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – The powerful blast of snow and cold that barreled through Virginia’s coastal cities packed a winter punch seldom seen in those communities. Now they could remain in the storm’s stranglehold for days. Forty-six-year-old Jen Edwards of Norfolk said she’d never see such a heavy snowfall as Thursday’s. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Edwards, who got a rare day off from her work with a government contractor. Not that Virginia escaped the so-called bomb cyclone that clobbered the Northeast. It shuttered schools, government offices and businesses. Nearly all flights were canceled at Norfolk’s main airport and thousands lost power.  Authorities also reported the deaths of a girl hit by a pickup truck while sledding in a Richmond suburb and a man struck by a snow plow in the Hampton area.