US: Snow, sleet, rain cause chaos

2013-02-22 10:05
A pedestrian walks along the sidewalk in the Country Club Plaza shopping district in Kansas City, Missouri. (Orlin Wagner, AP)

A pedestrian walks along the sidewalk in the Country Club Plaza shopping district in Kansas City, Missouri. (Orlin Wagner, AP)

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Washington - Barely two weeks after a massive snowstorm battered New England, another large storm hit the US on Thursday, this time delivering a mix of snow, sleet and rain to several states in the centre of the country.

The snow storm caused near white-out conditions, forcing officials to close more than 100km of a major highway in Kansas, where the governor declared a state of emergency, according to broadcaster NBC. Flights were cancelled at the airport serving Kansas City, which was brought to a standstill, the Kansas City Star reported.

NBC said one death, a traffic fatality, had been reported.

The National Weather Service said the storm was headed toward the Great Lakes. Chicago's O'Hare airport already cancelled Friday flights, NBC said.

The storm affected an area inhabited by about 60 million people stretching over all or parts of 20 states from northern Texas to southern Minnesota and from eastern Colorado to Virginia.

More than 30cm of snow

The states receiving the brunt of the storm on Thursday were Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, whose governor also declared a state of emergency. Farmers in the drought-stricken region welcomed the precipitation.

Parts of Kansas received as much as 30cm of snow. More than 27cm of snow fell in Wichita, Kansas, the most in 26 years. A portion of northern Arkansas was hit by freezing rain, the weather service said.

People were advised to stay home as schools were closed and travel was disrupted. Kansas City's airport reported several cancelled flights.

The storm also dumped rain in the states along the Gulf of Mexico, and some areas were under a flood warning.

Two weeks ago a massive winter storm blanketed much of New England and New York. Boston received several centimetres of snow in the storm, which also knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people.

- SAPA
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