Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winterstorm Zuid Westen Vs.. ( BBC)

Winter storm hits southern US with snow, sleet and rain

As much as 9in (23cm) of snow has blanketed states in the south-eastern US Freezing rain and sleet have caused power outages, icy roads and school closures in the south-eastern US, following a snow storm that struck in the region over the weekend.

As much as 9in (23cm) of snow has blanketed states from Louisiana to North Carolina.

At least eight people have died in weather-related car crashes in the area over the past few days.

The winter mix is expected to turn to ice by Tuesday, forecasters said.

"Since it's going to be pretty cold over the next few days, we could see whatever accumulates sticking around for a few days," National Weather Service meteorologist Daniel Lamb told the Associated Press news agency.

Governors in the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee declared emergencies, while many schools in the south called off classes on Monday because of the storm.

Officials in Georgia were forced to move the inauguration of Republican Governor Nathan Deal from the steps of the state Capitol to inside the state's House chambers, after the weekend storm left the city of Atlanta covered by about 4in (10cm) of snow.

About 2,000 flights have been cancelled throughout the south as the result of the storm The storm system is being blamed for forcing the cancellation of 2,000 flights throughout the south as well as the majority of flights at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world's busiest airport and the largest hub of Delta Air Lines.

Atlanta, which does not typically receive heavy amounts of snow, has only eight snow ploughs.

Since the storm struck on Sunday, covering bridges and roads, the city has hired 11 trucks to help spread salt and gravel around the region.

But the heaviest snow fell in Tennessee, coating parts of the state with about 13in.

Deadly roads

Two people died on Sunday after driving on icy roads in Louisiana, while two separate motorists were killed in Oklahoma after one car went off a road into a pond and another slid off a highway and into a tree.

A woman died in Kansas after a collision with another vehicle, and three more drivers were killed after losing control of their vehicles in Arkansas, a state that saw motorists stranded on highways overnight on Sunday.

"Once one accident was cleared, the traffic would move, and then another truck or two would jackknife," state police spokesman Bill Sadler told AP.

A heavy coating of ice on power lines and trees also has prompted officials to warn regions affected by the storm about further power outages.

The storm was centred on South Carolina, with heavy snow stretching into North Carolina on Monday afternoon, while a mix of sleet, snow and freezing rain extended from Alabama to northern Georgia.

The wintry weather was expected to head north toward the state of Ohio by Tuesday, forecasters said.