Massive snowstorm pummels US Midwest, leaving 5 dead

Is it a snowstorm or a blizzard

Massive snowstorm pummels US Midwest, leaving 5 dead

It is expected that the storm will bring three to six inches of snow to Washington DC and some areas in northern and central parts of Maryland on Sunday before reaching into the mid-Atlantic region.

Washington, where many federal government offices are closed due to the US government shutdown, is expected to receive 6 to 8 inches of snow from this storm, according to the National Weather Service.

A massive winter storm hit the US Rockies and Plains on Friday then punched east, with snow set to assault a 1,800-mile (1,609 km) corridor through the weekend, creating transportation "havoc" in the middle of the country.

Dozens of flights were canceled at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which described the onslaught of snow on Twitter as one of its biggest single-day winter storms in years.

The weather system, which started as rain from Mexico but has since turned into snow, is forecast to affect an 2,900 km swath of the United States from Colorado to the Mid-Atlantic.

A thick blanket of snow covered most of the state Saturday as local emergency managers did their best to fend off the fierce winter storm.

The storm eased up Saturday afternoon in St. Louis after dropping more than 10 inches of snow there.

"PLEASE DO NOT TRAVEL", authorities warned Saturday on Twitter.

In a tweet Saturday morning, the patrol said it also had responded to 48 injuries, 723 crashes, 1,252 stranded motorists and 2,968 calls for service. Some residents reported almost 10 inches of snow, which snapped tree branches and downed power lines. Parts of Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska all received more than 10 inches of snow. More than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow has fallen in some places around St. Louis. Philadelphia is predicted to get 1 to 2 inches of snow, and there is a possibility of light accumulation in NY along the storm's northern edge. A half inch of ice and 3 to 5 inches of snow are predicted.

Almost 200,000 people were without electricity in Virginia and North Carolina on Sunday morning.

"In much of swath from Missouri to southern OH, this will heavy and wet and a strain to shovel", AccuWeather meteorologist Bill Deger wrote in a blog post.

Some interstates in Missouri, including I-70 and I-44, reopened Saturday morning after being shutdown Friday night, but treacherous conditions continued. The Southeast has seen abundant precipitation in December and January, and the additional rain could put a strain on already-high rivers.

The University of Missouri men's basketball game Saturday at the University of SC was moved to Sunday because of weather-related travel problems, the team tweeted.

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