News / USA

Snowstorm Slams US Plains, At Least Two Dead

A jogger and pedestrian cross a snowy Jayhawk Boulevard on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, Kansas, Feb. 4, 2014.
A jogger and pedestrian cross a snowy Jayhawk Boulevard on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, Kansas, Feb. 4, 2014.
Reuters
An unusually heavy winter storm slammed into the nation's mid-section Tuesday, heading east and threatening roughly two-thirds of the country with what forecasters said could be up to a foot (30 cm) of snow.
 
The storm system forced the closing of many state offices and schools in hardest-hit Kansas, where Governor Sam Brownback declared a state of “disaster emergency.”
 
Authorities in Kansas and neighboring Missouri advised residents to stay in their homes and the National Weather Service (NWS) warned of “extremely difficult travel conditions.”
 
At least two people died in a car accident in Crawford County in southeast Kansas due to the treacherous conditions, state officials said. The Kansas National Guard was deploying soldiers and Humvees to transport emergency and medical workers and assist motorists stranded along the state's snow-covered roadways.
 
“We still have some of the most difficult conditions ahead of us as the snowfall is followed by heavy winds and bitterly cold temperatures,” Governor Brownback said in a statement. “Travel will remain treacherous and temperatures will be dangerously cold.”
 
The conditions were so poor that part of Interstate 70, a key road artery connecting Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, was closed in both directions Tuesday morning near Columbia, Missouri, after several tractor-trailers collided, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
 
“Kansas City and eastern Kansas is going to get a lot of snow,” said Greg Carbin, meteorologist for the NWS Storm Prediction Center. “It's remarkable weather. Winter is entrenched. It doesn't appear to be wanting to go anywhere.”
 
Numerous additional accidents were reported in Missouri as cars skidded off slick highways, the state patrol said.
 
More than seven inches (18 cm) of snow had fallen in the Kansas City area by early evening, with more expected before the system moves northeast early Wednesday, according to the NWS.
 
The heavy snow and ice tracking through the central United States was headed northeast into Pennsylvania, New York and New England, forecasters said.
 
Areas from the lower Great Lakes eastward through central New England should see a foot or more of snow before the system moves out to sea by Wednesday night, according to the NWS, and heavy rains could result in flooding across the Tennessee Valley and Ohio Valley.
 
Flight Delays, Cancellations
 
Nearly 8,500 flights were delayed across the country on Tuesday afternoon, and more than 1,680 were canceled, according to Flightaware.com, a website that tracks air traffic.
 
The storm set up Monday night over southwestern Kansas and was peaking over Kansas City on Tuesday.
 
This event is uncommon, said NWS meteorologist Dan Hawblitzel, as only about three percent of the winter storms that hit Kansas City total more than six inches (15 cm) of snow.
 
Eying the approaching storm, other states were taking precautions. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy postponed his State of the State address by a day and said the impending storm was also causing state legislative leaders to push back by a day the start of the joint legislative session.
 
“While I hope the storm is not as bad as predictions suggest, I also don't want to put anyone in harm's way,” Malloy said in a statement announcing the delay.
 
Schools in Providence, Rhode Island, were ordered closed Wednesday due to the approaching storm.
 
The snowstorm comes after a fast-moving winter storm hit the U.S. Northeast on Monday, forcing flight cancelations throughout the region and tying up road traffic the day after the NFL's Super Bowl championship game in New Jersey.
 
On Sunday, the famed groundhog “Punxsutawney Phil” emerged from his burrow in the small Pennsylvania town, saw his shadow and - as the legend goes - predicted six more weeks of winter.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid