Winter storm hits US Midwest leaving at least five dead

Larry Hoffman
January 14, 2019

As light snow falls are expected to continue in the Midwest, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for areas in the mid-Atlantic until Sunday afternoon.

St. Louis had recorded 10.4 inches of snow by 12:30 p.m., with higher accumulations in other parts of Missouri.

A massive winter storm hit the US Rockies and Plains on Friday then punched east, with snow set to assault a 1,800-mile (1,609 km) corridor through the weekend, creating transportation "havoc" in the middle of the country. "St. Louis is seeing its worst snowstorm in five years".

Trees covered in snow are seen as a auto drives in Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 12, 2019, in this still image obtained from social media video.

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.

Virginia State Police say a fatal crash on Interstate 81 occurred when a military surplus vehicle's driver lost control due to slick road conditions as a winter storm went through the region.

With snow already falling in the nation's capital Saturday, updated forecasts for total snowfall jumped from 2-4 inches to 8-12 inches, CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.

Louis, most of the flights were either cancelled or delayed.

"We're anticipating still more snow through today, so we're asking motorists to stay home until the roads are cleared, " said Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Collin Stosberg, stationed in suburban Kansas City. Vehicle accidents resulting from icy, snow-covered roads were already being reported on Saturday evening.

The storm hit Kansas and Missouri on Friday and pummeled those states again on Saturday as it extended into parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and OH, said U.S. Weather Prediction Center meteorologist Andrew Orrison.

Hundreds of people were stranded for hours as snow and freezing rain rendered parts of Interstate 44 in Missouri almost impassable on Friday evening. Half an inch of ice and 3 to 5 inches of snow are predicted. The storm is bringing snow, freezing rain and power outages.

At least five people died in weather-related crashes on roads in Missouri and Kansas, according to the highway patrolmen in both states.

In Kansas City ground crews spent hours clearing snow from Arrowhead Stadium ahead of a playoff between Kansas Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says almost 300 vehicles had slid off roads across the state and more than 175 crashes had been reported by late Saturday morning.

Illinois State Police said Allen Reinacher, 73, was killed in an accident on a snowy highway on Friday, KSDK-TV reported.

The storm caused dozens of vehicle crashes Friday and Saturday afternoon in Jefferson City as motorists slid off slick roadways. "More cancellations are likely on Saturday and Sunday", airport officials said.

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