Winter storm pounds much of the country - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Winter storm pounds much of the country

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The massive storm stretching diagonally across the country is living up to the hype.

Layers of dangerous ice and blowing snow are closing roads and airports from Texas to Rhode Island. The storm's more than 2,000-mile reach is threatening to leave about a third of the nation covered in a hodgepodge of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Some areas may get up to two feet of snow -- and when it ends, bitter cold will set in, in some parts of the country. Temperatures in the Midwest will dip well below zero. And gusty winds will blow all of that snow, causing near zero visibility at times.

Blizzard warnings are up and many governors have declared emergencies.

Oklahoma is paralyzed by white-outs, with blowing snow creating 4-foot drifts.

On the southern end of the system, tornado warnings are up in some states.



ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The snow is only a few hours old, but governors in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois are declaring emergencies.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon activated 600 members of the National Guard as an enormous storm begins pelting states from Texas to Ohio with snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Parts of southwestern Missouri had a half-foot of snow on the ground by this morning. So did Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Ice downed power lines in Ohio, leaving thousands without electricity.

Forecasters say some regions could get up to 2 inches of snow per hour at times through tomorrow morning.

Blizzard warnings are in effect for much of the Midwest, with Kansas City, St. Louis and Milwaukee expecting a foot of snow or more. And Chicago could be in for its third-worst blizzard since record-keeping began, with up to 20 inches expected.

After burying the Midwest, the storm is expected to sweep into the Northeast with a mix of snow, sleet and ice.


Airlines cancel more than 4,500 flights on Tuesday because of the big winter storm moving through the middle of the U.S.

Flight-tracking service says the total for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday is already more than 7,700.

FlightAware says airports in Newark, N.J., and Chicago are the hardest hit, with more than 600 cancellations in each. Chicago is a hub for United and American airlines, and Continental has a hub in Newark.

Ice closed Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport for about an hour. It was operating on one runway Tuesday morning.

JetBlue is canceling flights in and out of New York's JFK airport for the rest of Tuesday, with some flights to resume Wednesday afternoon. It plans to shut down its Boston flying Tuesday night through Thursday morning.

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