11 dead after snow storms in US

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Monday, December 24, 2007

The damage from a 2004 snow storm
Image: Ben Townsend.

11 people have been left dead and thousands have no electricity after a snowstorm hit the central area of the United States. Hundreds of flights were also cancelled. A pile-up on Interstate 40, Texas caused one death and two life-threatening injuries. Hundreds of trees and power lines have also fallen across Chicago, Wisconsin, Texas, Kansas and Minnesota.

In Wisconsin there were three fatalities from the snow storm, while one died in both Kansas and Texas. These deaths were caused from road accidents which arose from the storm.

At O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, 300 flights have been cancelled due to the storm, which is expected to move north to the area near the great lakes. Winds were at speeds of 50 to 68 mph in the Chicago Area.

In many areas visibility was lowered to almost zero by the storms.

The death in Texas was expected to have involved over 40 vehicles and about 20 semitrailers. The accident involved many families, some going on a holiday for the festive season.

Three deaths were also caused by a traffic-related incident in Minnesota.

In addition, there were reports of children not wearing clothing appropriate to the weather conditions.

The type of storm that hit America today is not uncommon at this period in Winter. Authorities have the capability to deal with this type of extreme weather, to the extent that damage is lessened but not completely prevented.