Deadly ice storm pushes up US east coast as temperatures drop to -29C

'Historic ice event' swept from Dallas, Texas towards the Eastern Seaboard

A powerful icy storm system is sweeping across the US, resulting in temperatures dropping to -29C and lower as well as deaths, power cuts and massive travel disruption.

Yesterday the winter storm began pushing up the country's densely-populated Eastern Seaboard, and forecasters say it will continue to drop freezing rain, sleet and snow on cities from West Virginia to Maine.

A severe warning was issued by the Government’s National Weather Service (NWS) at the weekend, and officials say temperatures will remain low until late on Monday (local time) when the system exits to the northeast.

On Saturday, the mercury dropped to -29C in Montana and South Dakota during the day, while officials warned residents in northwest Minnesota to brace for temperatures as low as -45C with the impact of wind chill.

What was described as a “complex winter storm” affected much of the central and eastern parts of the US this weekend, dropping between 3 and 6 inches (7.6 to 15.2cm) of snow on West Virginia before settling over Washington, DC, for the first time this season.

Several inches of snow were also expected for Philadelphia and New York, and would come about 10 days earlier than the average first snowfall, the NWS said. 

More than 2,500 flights were cancelled across the country because of Sunday's weather, while the Delaware Memorial Bridge linking the state with New Jersey was shut “due to ice and multiple accidents”.

Meanwhile, the NWS also issued a “hard freeze warning” for large parts of the Midwest, and freeze warnings for the west coast.

Four people died in the San Francisco Bay area of California as a result of hypothermia, and at least six deaths in traffic-related incidents were blamed on the severe weather across several states.

One person died in North Texas after a pick-up truck lost control on an icy bridge.

In Virginia, state Emergency Management spokeswoman Laura Southard said the storm had the potential to be a “historic ice event”.

“This forecast is very concerning to us,” Ms Southard said on Saturday. “I've worked multiple disasters, but I've never worked an ice storm with a forecast like this. It's just really important for everybody to take extra precautions.”

Among the road closures on Saturday were Interstate 35, north of Dallas, Texas, where treacherous conditions had seen crashes and vehicles struggling to climb hills.

Around 270,000 homes were without power at the peak of outages in the Dallas area on Saturday, and yesterday 7,000 were still cut off in Tennessee. “For some of our customers it may take a couple of days to get their power back,” said Rob Fisher, director of Emergency Management for Dickson County.

The ice storm forced the cancellation of a number of large annual events over the weekend, including yesterday’s Dallas Marathon, which was expected to draw 25,000 runners, and the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, expected to see 20,000 people competing.

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup