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A view from space of nasty blizzard 2016 leaving the East Coast

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Posted at 10:57 AM, Jan 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-24 11:06:07-05

The massive winter storm which clobbered the East Coast was photographed on its way out, by American astronaut Scott Kelly. He posted a picture snapped from the International Space Station as the sun rose.

Early Saturday, Kelly, who is spending a year in space, shared a picture of the storm dubbed “Jonas” as it hovered over the East Coast. The large storm system was illuminated by city lights just underneath the thick cloud cover.

Kelly is spending 342 days on the International Space Station, the longest stretch of time any U.S. astronaut has spent in space. NASA is testing how long-duration spaceflights impact the human body for future travel to Mars and other deep space missions.

While the winter storm headed out to the Atlantic,  the problems it caused aren’t over.

Pummeled

At least 14 people have died as a result of the storm — six in North Carolina, three in Virginia, one in Kentucky, three in New York City and one in Maryland.

And New York’s Central Park, Baltimore’s Thurgood Marshall International Airport and both major airports in Washington all broke daily snowfall records Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blizzard will almost certainly rank among New York City’s “top five snowstorms” in recorded history in terms of snow accumulation.

“I’ve never seen snow like this,” said Luis Abraham Garcia, a doctoral student from Mexico City, as he trudged along snowy sidewalks with his suitcase.

Shepherdstown, West Virginia, got the most snow, with 40.5 inches, the NWS said.

Animals at the National Zoo in Washington saw just above 22 inches during the storm. Tian Tian, the giant panda, seemed to enjoy it.

Hundreds of motorists faced the storm’s wrath stuck on highways.

Road accidents Friday night caused a 7-mile backup involving around 500 vehicles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a state police spokeswoman said.

In central Kentucky, some drivers were stranded along a 35-mile stretch of Interstate 75 for as long as 19 hours, from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning.

And as many as 200 vehicles were stuck on Interstate 77 in West Virginia, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Watch out for black ice

Virginia, Washington D.C. and New York are expected to see sunshine Sunday, and temperatures just above freezing.

Those conditions will help plows clear snow.

But with below-freezing temperatures expected to return Sunday evening, the melted snow may freeze into black ice.

“It’s going to be like this for a while,” CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis said.

Power outages and flight cancellations

As of early Sunday morning, more than 74,000 customers were without power as a result of the storm, most in North Carolina. And 8,569 flights were canceled on Saturday and Sunday, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.com.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe warned residents to stay home Sunday and Monday to allow VDOT to clear roads. Mass transit services in Washington and Baltimore were suspended for the weekend. And some Amtrak service to and from the East Coast was canceled or truncated.

A travel ban was in effect on all roads in New York City and Long Island on Saturday, but was lifted at 7 a.m. Sunday.