News / USA

Chicago Braces for Storm that Buried US Plains

City snow plows clear 23rd Street in Lawrence, Kansas, Feb. 26, 2013.
City snow plows clear 23rd Street in Lawrence, Kansas, Feb. 26, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— A potent winter storm that buried much of the U.S. Plains and left at least three people dead moved into Chicago on Tuesday, forcing hundreds of flight cancellations and raising the specter of a nightmarish evening commute.
    
The National Weather Service's Chicago office issued a winter weather advisory from noon through 9 p.m. Central time.
    
Forecasters predicted the storm, which packs a dangerous mix of wet snow, sleet, rain and high winds, would reach peak intensity around the evening rush hour, reducing visibility and creating treacherous driving conditions.
    
The Illinois Tollway agency, which maintains nearly 300 miles of highway around Chicago, said it was mobilizing its fleet of more than 180 snowplows in anticipation of the storm, which was expected to dump as much as 6 inches of wet snow north of the city.
    
At Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, sleet and low clouds on the front end of the storm were causing delays of nearly two-and-a-half hours, according to Flightaware.com, and nearly 300 arrivals and departures were canceled at O'Hare and Chicago's Midway Airport.
    
In Oklahoma, Texas and parts of Kansas, where some residents were still digging out from a winter storm last week, the storm dumped up to 17 inches (43 cm) of snow on Amarillo, Texas, and whipped Kansas City, Missouri, with winds of up to 30 miles (48 km) per hour.
    
Highways in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and parts of Kansas remained closed because of heavy and drifting snow.
    
Forecasters with the National Weather Service said the storm would dump three to five inches of wet snow on Detroit overnight and into Wednesday morning.
    
The storm has contributed to at least three deaths, two in Kansas and one in Oklahoma.
    
A woman died and three passengers were injured Monday night on Interstate 70 when their pickup truck rolled off the icy roadway in Ellis County, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said. Earlier Monday, a man was killed when his car veered off the interstate in Sherman County near the Colorado border, he said.

"We urge everyone to avoid travel and be extremely cautious if you must be on the roads,'' said Ernest Garcia, superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol.
    
In northern Oklahoma, one person died when the roof of a home partially collapsed in the city of Woodward, said Matt Lehenbauer, the city's emergency management director.

"We have roofs collapsing all over town,'' said Woodward Mayor Roscoe Hill Jr. "We really have a mess on our hands.''
    
Kansas City was also hard hit by the storm, which dumped as much as 13 inches of snow on some parts of the metro region on Tuesday, said Chris Bowman, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
    
Bowman said another one to three inches could fall Tuesday evening and nearly two-thirds of the flights at Kansas City International Airport Tuesday afternoon were canceled.
    
The storm cut power to some 80,000 households in the Kansas City metropolitan area and to more than 12,000 rural customers, officials said. About half the Kansas City customers had power restored by noon Tuesday, said a spokeswoman for Kansas City Power & Light.

Heavy wet snow weighed down power lines and tree branches, making them vulnerable to collapse, especially with winds of 10 to 20 mph, said Sharon Watson, spokesperson for emergency management in Kansas.
    
Watson said this week's storm has in ways had a greater impact than last week's.

"It has covered far less of an area but it has been more deadly and there is the big concern about power outages,'' Watson said.
    
Governors in Texas and Oklahoma had declared states of emergency in the areas struck by the snowstorm to speed assistance to those in need. Interstate and other highways were closed across the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

Areas around Amarillo and Lubbock received more than a foot (30 cm) of snow during the storm, which had cut visibility to near zero on some roads, Texas transportation officials said.
    
In addition to the winter storm, National Weather Service forecasters on Tuesday issued tornado watches across central Florida and up the eastern coast to South Carolina.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid