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

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid