Snow­storm wreaks havoc across Mid­west

Slick roads cause fa­tal pileup in Iowa; tor­na­does hit in Arkansas, Alabama.

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - By David Pitt and Margery Beck DAVID EULITT / KANSAS CITY STAR

DES MOINES, IOWA — The first wide­spread snow­storm of the sea­son crawled across the Mid­west on Thurs­day, with white­out con­di­tions strand­ing hol­i­day trav­el­ers and send­ing drivers slid­ing over slick roads — in­clud­ing into a fa­tal 25ve­hi­cle pileup in Iowa.

The storm, which dumped a foot of snow in parts of Iowa and Wis­con­sin, was part of a sys­tem that be­gan in the Rock­ies ear­lier in the week be­fore trekking into the Mid­west. It was ex­pected to move across the Great Lakes overnight and into Canada..

The storm led air­lines to can­cel about 1,000 flights ahead of the Christ­mas hol­i­day — rel­a­tively few com­pared with past big storms.

On the south­ern edge of the sys­tem, tor­na­does de­stroyed sev­eral homes in Arkansas and peeled the roofs from build­ings, top­pled trucks and blew down oak trees and limbs in Alabama.

In Iowa, drivers were blinded by blow­ing snow and didn’t see vehi-

— Af­ter two cen­turies of boom and bust, Amer­ica’s pop­u­la­tion growth may fi­nally be lev­el­ing off.

The U.S. pop­u­la­tion is now in­creas­ing a bit faster than in 2011, thanks to an im­prov­ing econ­omy, but not enough to lift growth above its low­est lev­els since the Great De­pres­sion.

The na­tion is get­ting older and is less likely than be­fore to be mar­ried, with women wait­ing longer to have chil­dren, if at all. Im­mi­gra­tion is on an up­swing af­ter years of sharp de­clines dur­ing the re­ces­sion but may never re­turn to the peak level it reached in the early 2000s.

New 2012 es­ti­mates re­leased Thurs­day by the Cen­sus Bureau of­fer the lat­est snap­shot of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion, show­ing signs of re­vival and change in pock­ets of the U.S.

“Af­ter decades of wars, a de­pres­sion, im­mi­gra­tion surges, baby booms, boom­lets and busts, we are en­ter­ing a new era of mod­est growth,” said Wil­liam H. Frey, a de­mog­ra­pher at Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion who an­a­lyzed the num­bers.

At least one per­son was killed in a 25-ve­hi­cle pileup north of Des Moines, Iowa.

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