Thursday, 13 February 2014

Storm engulfs US east coast as havoc persists in South

Storm engulfs US east coast as havoc persists in South

Traffic in areas of North Carolina ground to a halt and many had to abandon their cars for the night

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A huge snow storm is blanketing the densely populated US North-east, after wreaking havoc in the South.
Across the typically mild South, more than half a million homes and businesses lack power, and thousands of flights have been cancelled.
The weather system has affected people in about 22 states from Texas to Maine and caused a dozen deaths.
The storm dumped more than 12in (30cm) of snow in the Washington DC region, before descending on New York.
Snow falls in front of the US Capitol building on February 13, 2014 in Washington, DCThe federal government shut down its offices on Thursday
Snow-covered streets were deserted during the morning commute in the nation's capital, where the federal government shut down its offices.
Ten to 20 inches of snow could fall from north-eastern Pennsylvania to New England on Thursday, said the National Weather Service.
Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled by Thursday morning, according to airline-tracking website
While temperatures at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, rose to 17C (63F), the US was shivering in bitter cold once again.
temperature map
Winter celebration cancelled
Ironically, a celebration of winter tourism in the village of Lake Placid, New York state, was cancelled because of the storm.
Described by the National Weather Service as an event of "historical proportions", it leaves in its southern wake a wreckage of snapped tree branches and power lines coated in as much as an inch of ice, motorways turned to car parks, road accidents and residents shivering in darkened homes.
Forecasters said it was one of the worst storms to strike Atlanta, the largest city in the South, since 1973.
President Barack Obama declared a disaster in the state of South Carolina and all northern counties in Georgia, opening the way for federal aid.
Firefighter's fatal fall
On Wednesday evening, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was moving supplies, including generators, meals, water, blankets and cots to an emergency centre in Atlanta.
A snowplough finds itself in the ditch after sliding off a snow-covered North Carolina Highway 54 near Saxapahaw, North Carolina February 12, 2014.Even a snowplough found itself in tough driving conditions in North Carolina
At least 12 deaths have already been blamed on the storm.
Three people were killed when an ambulance slid off a west Texas road, flipped over and caught fire.
Meanwhile, a firefighter died when an out-of-control vehicle knocked him off an icy highway bridge in Dallas, Texas.
A man in Georgia was killed after slipping and falling on a patch of ice.
Thousands of vehicles have been stranded on snow-shrouded motorways around Raleigh, North Carolina, with some people abandoning their vehicles.
Soo Keith, of Raleigh, left her office shortly after midday, but after two hours had only driven a few miles.
The White House in Washington DC on 13 February 2014White-out at the White House
She told the Associated Press news agency she eventually abandoned her vehicle and continued on foot, arriving home four hours later.
"My face is all frozen, my glasses are all frozen, my hair is all frozen," said Ms Keith.
Residents of Georgia appeared to have heeded official warnings, with motorways in the state clear but with many people stuck at home without electric power.
"Thanks to the people of Georgia," Governor Nathan Deal said. "You have shown your character."
Mr Deal asked those waiting for power to be restored to be patient, saying he was hearing of "good response times" from the state's utilities.
A man walks through the snow in New York City on 13 February 2014 Umbrellas were no match for the storm in New York City
A young man on skis and his friends pass in front of the US Congress building as a heavy snow storm hits Washington DC on 13 February 2014A man on skis by the US Congress building, Washington DC
Pedestrians walk across the Walnut Street Bridge as snow accumulates on  in Chattanooga, Tennessee 12 February 2014 Residents took to walking in Chattanooga, Tennessee
A shopper passes by mostly empty refrigerators of milk at a grocery store in Lilburn, Georgia, on 12 February 2014  The bad weather caused a run on grocery items, including milk, in Georgia
Nine-year-old Katie Swayne, right, throws snow into the air as her brother Bradley, 6, shovels a path in front of their house while the snow continues to fall in Winston-Salem,  North Carolina 12 February 2014And schools were pre-emptively closed across much of the South

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