Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Five dead as heavy snow hits parts of the US

Five dead as heavy snow hits parts of the US

The National Weather Service reported almost a half-inch of ice in some sections of western North Carolina, leading to fallen trees and power lines but other areas of the state got mostly a cold rain or freezing precipitation that caused few problems The wintry mix did, however, cause problems at airports in the region, including more than 250 flight cancellations Sunday at the three main airports serving the nation's capital. Between 2-3 more inches was expected to fall later Saturday as snow showers lingered into Sunday morning, Maples said.

The snow storm hit the Rockies and Plains regions on Friday, moving East, and is projected to cover an 1,800-mile corridor - stretching from Colorado to the mid-Atlantic - across the weekend.

Drivers weren't the only ones negatively affected by the extreme weather conditions: Dozens of flights were cancelled at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which described the snowstorm as one of the largest on record.

Britt Smith, Jefferson City Public Works operations division director, said: "This snow is probably one of the wettest snows I've seen, and I've been doing this for 15 years".

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency that he says will help utility crews restore electricity more quickly to the state's western Piedmont, foothills and mountains after a winter storm. Illinois State Police said troopers along the Mississippi River across from St. Louis have responded to more than 100 crashes during the storm.

"To the south, freezing rain is expected into Sunday near and east of the central and southern Appalachians, where up to a quarter of an inch of ice could accrete, with locally higher amounts possible", the NWS's Weather Prediction Center said.

Snow totals are to taper to the northeast with parts of southwest IL forecast to receive up to 9 inches and the Chicago area expected to get between 1 and 4 inches.

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He says that since the snow began falling Friday, troopers in District 11 in southwestern IL have been called to 114 crashes and a total of 261 incidents, many of which involved vehicles that had veered off roadways into ditches.

In Kansas City ground crews spent hours clearing snow from Arrowhead Stadium ahead of a playoff between Kansas Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts.

In Kansas City, Missouri, "we are up to 7.2 inches of snow so far with this storm", the local National Weather Service office said at 7 a.m. ET.

Cooper's office says almost 1,000 state Department of Transportation workers also are working to clear snow and ice.

Several inches of heavy snow fell most of the day, blanketing the area.

At least seven people have died, including five who were killed in crashes on slick roadways in Kansas and Missouri. More than 30 of those crashes and half of those disabled vehicles were in the Fairfax district, VSP said.

Springfield's State Journal-Register reports that the state capital broke a 55-year record for daily snowfall on Saturday. "More cancellations are likely on Saturday and Sunday", airport officials said.

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