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Congressmen livestream 'bipartisan road trip' to D.C. amid snow, flight cancellations

Unable to get a flight back to snowed-in Washington, D.C., Texas Congressmen Will Hurd, a Republican from Helotes, and Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, who did a veterans’ event together in San Antonio on Monday, decided to drive together to D.C. – a trip about 1,500 miles and 24 hours long.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>BIPARTISAN ROAD TRIP: Because of the winter storm U.S. Representative Will Hurd and I are renting a car this morning and...Posted by Congressman Beto O'Rourke on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hurd said it was O’Rourke’s idea.

They picked up a Dollar rental Chevy Impala in San Antonio predawn Tuesday.

They went for taquitos at Mi Tierra, where they also bought a piñata mascot — which they have named WillieBeto — to place on the dashboard, though it slipped off.

Starting the day off right at Mi Tierra Cafe before hitting the road for work. 24 hrs to DC. Co-pilot @HurdOnTheHill pic.twitter.com/wZHHF2KQXC— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2017

They then stopped at Tantra Coffeehouse in San Marcos, and then headed for Austin, where they pulled over by the University of Texas to do a live spot on MSNBC, where they were asked what would be the ideal pairing for a Texas-to-D.C. road trip like the one they were on.

They passed on the suggestion that came through on O’Rourke’s Facebook livestream — Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, and Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Houston.

>> Read more trending news

From there, they busted in on Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith and "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd just ahead of Smith’s interview of Todd for his KLRU show, "Overheard." 

Hurd was asked to offer an example of an issue on which he and O’Rourke agree.

“We both agree a border wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” Hurd said.

Cross country town hallPosted by Congressman Beto O'Rourke on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

From Austin, the road trip headed toward Waco on the way to Texarkana and the Arkansas line.

They said they would be guided by "the people" in their choice of route, but O’Rourke said he’d like to go through Memphis – which they eventually did. 

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, old enough to be their father, phoned in to make sure there was no distracted driving going on.

Hurd assured him O’Rourke had a firm hand on the wheel.

>> 5 hacks to keep your smartphone charged during a power outage

But Cornyn’s connection wasn’t so good.

O’Rourke: “We lost Sen. Cornyn.”

They briefly stopped talking policy to listen to a little music.

First, Khalid from El Paso, and then, of course, Willie Nelson, "On the Road Again."

And then, off with the music for a phone interview with Bill Lambrecht of the San Antonio Express-News.

Lambrecht: “So whose wacky idea was this?”

And, “If you go to Memphis you might want to think about stopping by Graceland.” (They did, but it was closed.)

O’Rourke said that for both of them, “our party leadership is probably not really excited about us doing this” because they would each be seen as helping a member of the opposite party.

>> 7 tips to keep your pets safe during winter weather

“Screw that line of thinking,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke preferred to drive straight through to their destination. Hurd preferred to “stop and smell the roses.”

And use the facilities.

“Will has a small bladder,” O’Rourke said. “And we’ve been drinking a ton of coffee.”

At Hurd’s pace, O’Rourke said, “We’ll get to Washington by mid-summer.”

According to The Associated Press, they arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday "with minutes to spare before a 6:30 p.m. House vote."

Posted by U.S. Representative Will Hurd on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

130 years ago this week a massive snowstorm killed 400 people

People in parts of the northeast and mid-Atlantic states are dealing with a late winter snowstorm this week, but it’s nothing like the blizzard of 1888.

Known as the Great White Hurricane, the deadly snowstorm struck the East Coast almost 130 years ago on March 11, according to the website Connecticuthistory.org. When the snow finally stopped on March 14, more than 400 people had died and the region was paralyzed by 60 inches of snow in some areas with drifts as high as 38 feet in places.

>> Read more trending news 

The editors of the Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, now the Poughkeepsie Journal,described the blizzard this way:

“Huge walls of (snow) moved along with the howling gale and swirled around corners, almost knocking people down who confronted it… In some places the sidewalks were impassable, and people had to take to the middle of the road, where they floundered and foamed and jumped and fretted on their way to their destinations,” the newspaper reported.

“It was a storm that will be remembered by the youngest boy as long as he lives.”

In National Geographic Magazine’s Volume 1, Brigadier Gen. A.W. Greely, the Chief Signal Officer of the Army from 1887 until 1906 described the monster storm this way.

“This storm is by no means as violent as others which have occurred in the eastern part of the United States. It is noted, however, as being one in which an unusual amount of snow fell, which drifted by the high winds caused by the advance of an anticyclonic area in rear of the storm depression did an enormous amount of damage to the railways in Massachusetts, southern New York, and New Jersey.”

Related:  MA officials warn of 'fast moving, high impact' storm, urge residents to stay home

Related: Boston: Hundreds of flights canceled due to winter storm

The storm shut down the rails and the roads up and down the eastern seaboard for days. The howling winds, with reported gusts at 80 mph in some areas, knocked out the telegraph system.

Damage estimates in New York, alone totaled as much as $25 million, about $670 million by today’s standards. 

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Photos: Winter storm slams Northeast

Winter blizzard 2017: How much snow will Boston get? The forecast has changed

The snow, freezing rain and sleet that began in the Mid-Atlantic region on Monday and moved toward New England early Tuesday has delivered on the promise of miserable conditions, slick roads and power outages, but a slight change in forecast is changing estimated snow accumulation for some.

According to Fox 25.com and the National Weather Service, the storm is tacking closer than expected to the Northeast coast, shifting the heaviest precipitation inland, west of the Interstate 95 corridor.

This shift will likely cut the expected amounts of snowfall accumulation in the Boston metro area. Western Massachusetts, however, can expect significant snow by Tuesday afternoon. Forecasters say that anything from 1-4 inches an hour is possible there.

However, revised snow accumulation estimates are not near the 24 inches forecast for Boston on Monday. The newest forecast calls for 8-12 inches of snow in the metro area.

According to the NWS, “Near the I-95 corridor from Boston to Washington D.C., sleet, freezing rain, even some rain is possible before changing back to snow and ending from south to north.”

The storm, coming days before the official start of spring, closed schools, business and led to hundreds of flights being canceled at Logan International Airport.

While the storm is setting up to intensify, forecasters are saying that warmer air is also being pulled into the system and will lead to a wintry mix along the coast and east of the I-95 corridor instead of a steady snowfall.

Overall in the region, more than 5,000 flights have been canceled and power is out to more than 100,000 customers from Virginia to Pennsylvania.

>>WATCH: FOX25 is live all day with the latest forecast

>> School closings

>> Hour-by-hour radar: What time does snow arrive in your town?

>> Emergency phone numbers and links

'Hallelujah': School gets musical with snow day announcement

It's a snow day for much of Massachusetts, but one school in particular received the news in a special song from the superintendent.

>> CLICK HERE for the latest weather forecast

>> 5 hacks to keep your smartphone charged during a power outage

>> 7 tips to keep your pets safe during winter weather

Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School Superintendent Aaron Polansky rewrote the words to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" to let students know that they could sleep in on Tuesday morning. 

>> Watch the video here

>> Read more trending news

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Watch: High winds toss little girl around like ragdoll, luckily she’s fine

Gusty winds hammered a large swath of the country from the northeast into parts of the Midwest Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news  

In suburban Cleveland 4-year-old Madison Gardner was literally blown off her feet by the howling winds.

The horrifying incident was caught on home surveillance video. Her mother, Brittany Gardener posted the video on social media.

It sure is windy out there! 😂🍃 All I hear is "mommm!" So I looked back and she's pinned between the house and the glass door. She is okay and laughing along with it!Posted by Brittany Gardner on Wednesday, March 8, 2017

“All I hear is ‘Mommm!’ So, I look back and she’s pinned between the house and the glass door,” Gardener said in the post.

Luckily the little girl wasn’t injured

“She is OK and laughing along with it,” Gardener said.

The relieved mom posted the video on Facebook and Twitter with the song, “Come Fly with Me” by Frank Sinatra.

What You Need To Know: La Niña

What You Need To Know: La Niña

Must-see: 'Purple rain' lights up Houston sky amid storms

It can neither be confirmed nor denied that Prince was on sky duty over Houston on Monday amid some pretty ridiculous rain.

KTRK compiled an epic slideshow of the ominous yet oddly soothing illumination, but check out what a few other Houstonians captured around town Monday.

>> Read more trending news

The clouds above the ballpark look good enough to eat! #EarnIt pic.twitter.com/nKgBIPliLR— Houston Astros Orbit (@OrbitAstros) February 21, 2017

After a day of storms, a gorgeous sunset tonight in Houston. from houston <script async src="//embed.redditmedia.com/widgets/platform.js" charset="UTF-8"></script>

Ominous Colored Clouds Over Houston from houston <script async src="//embed.redditmedia.com/widgets/platform.js" charset="UTF-8"></script>

Houston In The Pink from houston <script async src="//embed.redditmedia.com/widgets/platform.js" charset="UTF-8"></script>

You can read more about the light wave length and color spectrum here.

Northern lights mesmerize tourist drivers in Iceland

Police in Iceland are warning drivers to stop staring at the sky and to keep their eyes on the road after a series of traffic stops involving erratic drivers.

Officers pulled over at least two drivers recently on suspicion of drunken driving, only to discover the tourists had been mesmerized by the flashing and colorful northern lights, according to Iceland Magazine, which described it as “under the influence of the Aurora.”

>> Read more trending news  

One of the drivers told police he just couldn’t stop looking at the northern lights.

In the second incident, police pulled over a car filled with tourists veering across the highway. It turns out the foreign visitors were completely sober, but so captivated by the Aurora Borealis they told officers they couldn’t drive responsibly, the magazine reported.

The Aurora Borealis, known as the northern lights, and the Aurora Australis, or southern lights, are a result of the collision between electrically charged particles with Earth’s upper atmosphere, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

The phenomenon produces colorful light that flashes across the sky, producing one of the most amazing light shows nature has to offer.  

 

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