State-by-state look at frigid blast hitting US
The Associated Press
Dec. 08, 2013
A large swath of the U.S. has frigid temperatures often with sleet, snow or ice — or a combination of all three. Several deaths have been reported, most a result of treacherous driving conditions. Flights have been canceled, numerous football and basketball games postponed and holiday celebrations, including tree lightings and parades, curtailed.
A day after freezing rain, sleet and snow brought most of Arkansas to a near standstill, the sun began to help melt ice Saturday on major roadways.
Primary roads were usable if motorists could maintain a head of steam, but once they stopped, it was difficult to get going again, said Randy Ort, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation.
Additional sleet or snow is expected Saturday night and Sunday.
Xcel Energy crews are working in bitter cold temperatures to restore natural gas service to 7,200 customers in a part of Boulder County. A company spokesman says an equipment failure at a regulator station was repaired Friday afternoon, but crews must go door-to-door to restart customers' pilot lights.
The outage came just as a winter blast brought snow and single-digit temperatures to much of Colorado.
Temperatures ranged from the single digits to nearly 20 degrees in Iowa on Saturday, and snow was in the forecast.
Western Iowa will see 4 to 5 inches of snow, while the rest of the state is likely to get 1 to 3 inches.
The National Weather Service says lows will hover around zero at the beginning of the week and dip lower on Wednesday.
Parts of north Mississippi faced a winter weather advisory Saturday night into Sunday as a second wave of freezing rain moves into the region.
The National Weather Service said ice accumulations are not expected to exceed one-tenth of inch — enough for motorists to be cautious with overnight temperatures dropping in the upper 20s to near freezing.
Like many states, Missouri experienced temperatures in the single digits Saturday. The National Weather Service said the Kansas City International Airport tied a record low Saturday morning — just 1 degree.
The weather didn't stop the St. Jude's Frostbite Half/Full Marathon in Cape Girardeau, about 120 miles southeast of St. Louis. Twenty-six heavily bundled participants turned out for the race, which at its start was 11 degrees.
Frigid temperatures are expected to hang around Nebraska through the weekend and into next week, while another storm system will bring anywhere from an inch to 4 inches of snow to central and eastern parts of the state.
Freezing rain and slick patches made driving conditions dangerous Saturday on Interstate 40 in eastern New Mexico and Interstate 25 near Raton. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service says northern and southwestern New Mexico will see snow late Saturday into Sunday, with wind gusts up to 50 mph.
Carlsbad has set up a temporary housing shelter for the homeless because of the freezing temperatures.
The subzero temperatures aren't a problem for Fargo residents. But for those who have come to cheer on South Carolina-based Furman take on North Dakota State in a Football Championship Subdivision playoff game, it's nearly unbearable.
One mother came from Nashville, Tenn., to watch her son play for Furman. She told WDAY-TV that the 20-below zero temperature took her breath away and it hurt to breathe.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said many roads were still slick and hazardous Saturday.
Westbound lanes of Interstate 40 were shut down near the Oklahoma-Arkansas state line for nearly 2½ hours early Saturday after a tractor-trailer rig jackknifed. And ODOT warned of hazardous driving conditions on I-35 near the Oklahoma-Texas state line.
The bitter cold snap led to cancelled events and increased calls for furnace repairs.
The temperatures won't, however, keep away the state's most unwelcome visitors. Forestry officials say the mountain pine beetles that have ravaged the Black Hills in recent years can withstand the arctic temperatures, which have approached 20 below zero in some areas.
North Texas authorities say treacherous sections of icy Interstate 35 north of Dallas have been closed for hours at a time intermittently over the last day. Tractor-trailers have had difficulty climbing hills, vehicles have stalled and wrecks have occurred.
Jody Gonzalez, chief of Denton County Emergency Services, said Saturday about 200 people have been in shelters in the Sanger area — about 50 miles north of Dallas — after getting stuck.
Across Texas at least four drivers died in weather-related accidents, and tens of thousands were without power in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Weather officials said an ice storm is imminent throughout much of Virginia early Sunday through Monday morning.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for at least 28 counties in southwestern and central Virginia. Accumulations of up to an inch of snow and sleet are likely through Sunday afternoon, followed by up to a half inch of ice through Monday morning.
Up to an inch and snow and sleet and a half-inch of ice is in the forecast for parts of West Virginia.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for six southern and southeastern counties from early Sunday through Monday morning.
Wind chills are dipping well below zero from central to northeast Wisconsin, prompting the National Weather Service to issue wind chill advisories. Meteorologists say wind chills will be between minus-20 and minus 30 degrees on Saturday.
Southwest and central Wisconsin could also see 4 to 5 inches of fluffy snow Sunday.