US weather: 'Catastrophic' ice storm heads north-east

Ice and wind storm has already devastated areas in the south

The US north-east is preparing to be hit by the "catastrophic" ice storm that has already caused chaos across the usually mild south, with 13 deaths being blamed on the treacherous weather.

The deadly storm crippled travel and cut put power to thousands of households in the US. More than 350,000 people are reportedly still without power.

Ice combined with wind gusts up to 30mph snapped tree branches and power lines. More than 200,000 homes and businesses lost electricity in Georgia, 130,000 in South Carolina and nearly 30,000 in Louisiana.

Washington DC awoke to its heaviest snowfall this winter. The federal government was closed, along with school districts in the area.

Washington's bus service was suspended, and residents were advised to stay home if possible rather than risk a commute through snow accumulations of as much as a foot throughout the area.

Schools in New York remained open and the city's Sanitation Department called on reinforcement crews to help shovel out sidewalks, fire hydrants and other snow-blocked areas.

In Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy ordered non-essential workers to stay home on Thursday.

Residents in North Carolina and Virginia have been preparing for up to one foot of snow.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has warned a band stretching from north-eastern Pennsylvania through New York State's Hudson Valley and into New England could see 10 inches of snow.

In a warning issued on Wednesday, the NWS described the storm across the south as "catastrophic, crippling and paralyzing".

Winter storm warnings and advisories were in place from Arkansas east to much of the Atlantic coast, the NWS added. The storm is expected to hit northeastern US within the next two days with up to 15 inches of snow.

"We definitely consider this to be a high-impact event, and we're definitely telling everyone to stay off the roads and stay inside as much as possible," said Carl Barnes, a weather service forecaster in Sterling, Virginia.

At least 12 deaths across 22 states from Texas to Maine were blamed on the weather conditions including three people who were killed when an ambulance careered off an icy Texas road and burst into flames.

Over 5,000 airline flights across the US were cancelled and forecasters warned of more than an inch of ice possible in places.

Forecasters described the storm in Atlanta as one of the worst to strike the city since 1973, but did not cause as much disruption as the 28 January storm, which many were unprepared for.

President Barack Obama declared a disaster in South Carolina and for parts of Georgia and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was moving supplies to an emergency centre in Atlanta on Wednesday evening.

Additional reporting by Agencies

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee