At least 7 dead after winter storms blanket Midwest
CHICAGO — A winter storm that blanketed the Midwest with snow and left seven dead hit Washington and its surrounding areas Sunday — with more than 35 million people under winter weather alerts.
Over a foot of snow has fallen across areas of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado since Friday. The highest snowfall totals were in Montgomery City, Missouri, northwest of St. Louis, which was hit with 20 inches of snow.
The storm eased up Saturday in St. Louis after dropping more than 10 inches of snow there.
At least four people have died and scores of motorists were injured and stranded, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.
In Kansas, three people died Friday in traffic accidents, authorities said Saturday: A 62-year-old man in a vehicle that struck a barrier wall on the Kansas Turnpike, a semi-truck driver whose vehicle collided with another truck and a driver whose vehicle struck an oncoming vehicle and ran into a ditch.
In a tweet Saturday night, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said it had responded to 57 injuries, 878 crashes, 1,790 stranded motorists and 3,918 calls for service.
St. Louis recorded 10.4 inches of snow by 1:30 p.m. ET, with higher accumulations in other parts of Missouri. In Columbia, 15.5 inches were reported and Harrisburg had 17 inches.
The Missouri Department of Transportation warned residents not to travel in the storm if it wasn’t necessary. The department reported incidents and stalls on interstates overnight. But it cited progress Saturday as crews worked to clear routes and bring “water and food to stranded motorists.”
The University of Missouri men’s basketball game Saturday at the University of South Carolina was moved to Sunday because of weather-related travel problems, the team tweeted.
Storms heading east
Up to a foot of snowfall is possible in Washington and Virginia on Sunday and into Monday morning, the National Weather Service said.
Baltimore is also in the path of these heavier bands of snowfall, with 4 to 6 inches of snow predicted for Sunday. Philadelphia is predicted to get 1 to 2 inches of snow, and there is a possibility of light accumulation in New York along the storm’s northern edge.
“We have a strong snowstorm that’s stretching 1,400 miles from Kansas to the East Coast,” CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. “St. Louis is seeing its worst snowstorm in five years. We’re going to see a significant snow event for the mid-Atlantic to start the year for 2019.”
More than 35 million people are under winter storm warnings or advisories across the Ohio River Valley and Mid-Atlantic on Sunday.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning effective through 6 p.m. ET Sunday for Washington, parts of central Maryland and northern and northwest Virginia. Sleet, snow and ice are making traveling conditions hazardous if not impossible.
The Appalachians will pick up ice and snow in the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, forecasters said. Half an inch of ice and 3 to 5 inches of snow are predicted. In anticipation of the storm, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday.
There is a small chance the southern Appalachians will get enough freezing rain and sleet to bring an ice event Saturday into Sunday.
More heavy rain also will fall on the saturated South. The Southeast has seen abundant precipitation in December and January, and the additional rain could put a strain on already-high rivers.