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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid