US weather: 'Catastrophic' ice storm heads north-east
Ice and wind storm has already devastated areas in the south
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Thursday 13 February 2014
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
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Jackie Chan in second place in Forbes' Highest Paid Actors list after magazine includes actors working outside US movie industry
Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Pizza Express protests: these restaurants charge staff for tips paid by card
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
Jeremy Corbyn: Tony Blair could face war crimes trial over 'illegal Iraq invasion'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will s...
£14807 - £15470 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This manufacturer and supplier ...
£45000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Security Consu...