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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid