Blizzard strikes East Coast

Up to 85 million people are in the path of a worsening winter storm that's iced up much of the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic.

Snow is coming down, but when the storm goes into the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday morning, it will supercharge, CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers said.

"The fuse was just lit," Myers said. Once it gets to the Gulf Stream, "that's when the firecracker goes off."

Here are the latest developments as of 6:40 a.m. ET:

-- A weather-related traffic backup on southbound Interstate 75 in Kentucky is about 35 miles long -- between mile marker 76 and 41, state trooper Kendra Wilson told CNN on Saturday morning. People have been stuck on the highway for more than 12 hours.

-- New York snowfall forecasts have increased -- 16 inches "is not out of the question," CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.

-- Philadelphia is suspending much of its public transportation for Saturday.

-- Two people died Friday night in traffic accidents linked to inclement weather in North Carolina, said spokeswoman Olivia James of the State Emergency Response Team.

-- Philadelphia has issued a code blue for overnight Friday into Saturday. This means anyone who spots homeless people out in the cold should call the police, who will take them to a shelter.

Stranded In the unrelenting snow, Dani Garner sat stuck in her minivan for eight hours on an interstate in Kentucky. Lines of stranded cars and trucks snaked ahead and behind her. Her husband, their three children ages 2, 3 and 14, and her mother-in-law were in the car.

"We've got no food or water," she told CNN. Luckily, Garner and her family had gas in their tank and could run the heater. "Honestly, if my van wasn't heated up I'd probably be boxed in with ice right now."

A stretch of Interstate 75 had frozen over, Kentucky State Police said. Police could not say how many people were stranded, but images on social media showed a highway resembling a long parking lot.

Storm strands family in car for 8 hours

Storm strands family in car for 8 hours 02:42 "It's truck after truck after truck and cars sliding off the roadway," said Kentucky State Police Capt. David Jude. "We're going car to car now to get people off the road."

Among those trapped is Caitlin Centner, a reporter for CNN affiliate WKYT.

She's been on the highway since 5:30 p.m. Friday and had "not moved a single inch since" when she spoke to CNN early Saturday morning.

Centner said she can see more than 100 cars for about a half-mile ahead of her. People nearby are running out of gas, and many have been without food and water for a long time.

She met a family, also stuck, that was traveling from Detroit to Georgia for a funeral Saturday morning.

Washington's 10 biggest blizzards

A snow plow driver in Fairfax, Virginia, told CNN that the storm is "starting to get worse. It's pretty thick. This is an all new experience for us."

"Past winters was much easier, much easier," he said.

Forecast: What's the outlook? Snow. Lots and lots of snow.

From midnight until noon Saturday, the forecast shows snowfall rates could potentially reach 10 inches every six hours, according to Chris Geldart of the District of Columbia's emergency management agency.

The snow arrived in Washington in the afternoon and quickly intensified, with 2½ feet possible by the time the last flakes fall Saturday night, the mayor said.

The storm could be the largest in Washington's history, and will probably rank in the top 5 in terms of snowfall accumulation.

Baltimore may get 19-29 inches between Friday and Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service. The agency tweeted that worst of the storm will run from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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