Snowstorm kills 3, cuts power in south-eastern US

Two men preparing to pull a vehicle out of the snow after a motorist slid off the road on Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The governor's office there said one person died from a heart condition while en route to a shelter and another person died
Two men preparing to pull a vehicle out of the snow after a motorist slid off the road on Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The governor's office there said one person died from a heart condition while en route to a shelter and another person died when her oxygen device stopped working. The police also said that a motorist died on Sunday when a tree fell on the vehicle.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

ATLANTA • At least three people died and thousands of homes were left without power in the Carolinas and Virginia early yesterday after a storm dumped up to 60cm of snow in parts of the south-eastern United States.

One person died from a heart condition while en route to a shelter and a terminally ill woman died when her oxygen device stopped working, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office said in a statement.

A motorist also died in south-western North Carolina on Sunday when a tree fell on the vehicle, police said.

More than 70,000 customers in the region remained without electricity as of 5am local time yesterday, down from a high of 220,000 on Monday, PowerOutage.US reported. Weather warnings remained in effect.

"The danger is black ice, ice that's difficult to see on roads, caused by the refreezing of snow melt," said Mr David Roth, a forecaster with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Centre in College Park, Maryland.

"It'll be a risk for the next few mornings, probably through Thursday morning, before we see persistent temperatures above freezing in the area," he said.

Because of icy roads, scores of schools cancelled or delayed classes yesterday across northern Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

  • SNOW HEAVIEST IN WHITETOP

  • 60cm

    Amount of snow dropped in Whitetop, Virginia, in the Appalachian Mountains.

    70,000

    Customers in the region still without electricity yesterday.

Many government offices also delayed opening yesterday for non-essential personnel.

Late on Sunday and early on Monday, the storm dropped its heaviest snow in the appropriately named Whitetop, Virginia, tucked in the Appalachian Mountains along the western end of the Virginia-North Carolina border, the US National Weather Service said.

Whitetop got 60cm of snow. Greensboro, North Carolina, had 41cm and Durham, North Carolina, 36cm.

Temperatures were expected to rise above freezing by late morning, but would drop back below freezing overnight through tomorrow, Mr Roth said.

By Friday, temperatures should reach 10 deg C in North Carolina, east of the mountains, where there is a chance of rain.

No widespread flight delays were reported early yesterday by the major airports in the south-east, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.

The storm, at its height, prompted the cancellation of one in four flights into and out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the sixth busiest in the country, and other airports across the region, FlightAware said.

REUTERS



PHOTO: NYTIMES

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2018, with the headline 'Snowstorm kills 3, cuts power in south-eastern US'. Print Edition | Subscribe