Snowstorm targets Washington, five dead in Midwest
WASHINGTON: A winter storm that dumped heavy snow on the US Midwest, causing at least five roadway deaths, stranding some motorists in Missouri and canceling dozens of flights, marched east toward Washington on Saturday. The weather system, which started as rain from Mexico but has since turned into snow, is forecast to affect an 1,800-mile swath of the United States from Colorado to the Mid-Atlantic.
The storm hit Kansas and Missouri on Friday and pummeled those states again on Saturday as it extended into parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, said U.S. Weather Prediction Center meteorologist Andrew Orrison. In Kansas City, snow dusted the field at Arrowhead Stadium during Saturday’s National Football League playoff game between the hometown Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts. “There’s snow time like Showtime,” the Chiefs said on Twitter, sharing video of the team’s quarterback Patrick Mahomes arriving at the stadium in the snow.
The storm is leaving its heaviest snowfall on areas General Saleh Tamah was wounded on Thursday in a strike on a military parade in Al-Anad air base, in government-held Lahij province some 60 kilometers north of Yemen’s second city Aden. Medical sources told AFP that Tamah underwent several surgeries in a hospital in Aden but died Sunday morning.
At least seven loyalists — including Tamah — were killed and 11 injured in Thursday’s incident, which threatens to hamper United Nations-led peace efforts. Among those injured were Yemen’s deputy chief of staff Saleh Al-Zandani, senior army commander Fadel Hasan and Lahij governor Ahmad Abdullah Al-Turki. Turki and Zandani were transported to Saudi Arabia for treatment, a Yemeni official told AFP. The UN voiced alarm on Friday following the attack and urged “all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint and refrain from further escalation”.
At talks in Sweden last month, the UN brokered several agreements between the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels and the Saudi-backed government seen as the best chance of ending nearly four years of devastating conflict. The warring sides agreed on truce deals for the key rebel-held aid port of Hodeida and battleground third city Taez. The UN is working to schedule a new round of consultations, possibly in Kuwait, aimed at drafting a political framework.
The war between the Huthis and loyalist troops escalated in March 2015, when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile and a Saudi-led military coalition intervened. Since then, the conflict has killed nearly 10,000 people and unleashed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN. UN aid officials say 80 percent of the population — 24 million people — are in need of aid and nearly 10 million are just one step away from famine. —AFP
west of St. Louis, where about a foot and a half of snow was recorded, with still more falling on Saturday, Orrison said. At least five people died in weather-related crashes on roads in Missouri and Kansas, according to the highway patrolmen in both states. “I think it’s safe to say that every road is bad in Kansas right now!” Trooper Tod Hileman, a spokesman for the Kansas Highway Patrol, said on Twitter on Saturday.
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. Snow is forecast for the Appalachian Mountains and the Mid-Atlantic on Saturday evening and Sunday. “Given how cold it is across the Midwest and even in the mid-Atlantic region, certainly people who are going to be out are going to want to dress in layered clothing,” Orrison said.
Washington, where many federal government offices are closed due to the U.S. government shutdown, is expected to receive 6 to 8 inches of snow from this storm, according to the National Weather Service. Central and northern Virginia will receive even more, with up to 10 inches of snow possible in some places. Baltimore and parts of Maryland are also bracing for a similar amount. Philadelphia is expected to receive a few inches of snow, but areas north of there are expected to be spared, Orrison added. —Reuters
An image grab taken from a video obtained by AFPTV shows a wounded Yemeni soldier being carried by comrades after a drone exploded above Yemen’s al-Anad airbase in the government-held southern province of Lahj. —AFP