Snowstorm arrives in D.C.
Thousands lose power as wintry conditions batter Midwest
People sled Sunday on Capitol Hill as a winter storm dumps several inches of snow on Washington. The storm arrived on the East Coast after pounding the Midwest earlier in the weekend, causing at least nine deaths. Conditions in the nation’s capital were expected to worsen through the night.
At least nine people, including a state trooper who was responding to a crash, have been killed amid a winter storm that has battered the Midwest and continues to dump several inches of snow in the Washington, D.C., metro area.
The storm that began in parts of the Midwest on Friday snarled traffic on highways with a deadly mix of sleet and slush, left thousands without power and canceled dozens of flights.
Missouri took the brunt of the damage, logging more than 800 snow-related crashes that injured 57 people and killed four, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Among those killed were a 53-year-old woman and a 14-year-old relative. Authorities say the woman lost control of the vehicle she was driving on a snow-covered road in rural Missouri on Friday and drifted into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
In a suburb of Chicago, Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert was standing outside his patrol car Saturday at the scene of a three-car crash when a driver struck him, authorities say. Lambert, a five-year veteran of the state police who previously served in the Army, died later at a hospital. State police said earlier Saturday that they have responded to more than 200 snow-related crashes, including one other fatality.
“Trooper Lambert deliberately placed his vehicle in a position to protect the lives of the victims of the previous crash, and took on the danger himself,” Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz said in a statement. “He will be remembered for his dedication to the Illinois State Police and for giving the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve the citizens of Illinois.”
Three storm-related deaths have been reported in Kansas, including a crash involving a 62-yearold man who lost control of his vehicle along the Kansas Turnpike. His vehicle rotated counterclockwise before crashing into a barrier wall, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
The storm barreled through parts of the Midwest on Friday night, with eastern Kansas and western Missouri seeing their highest snow totals in several years, according to the National Weather Service. The storm dumped more than a foot of snow in several parts of Missouri and nearly 2 feet in one city.
In Columbia, Mo., University of Missouri officials shut down the campus ahead of the storm Friday.
The Midwest appeared to be out of the woods as of Sunday afternoon. But conditions are expected to worsen in the evening in the Washington, D.C., area, which is experiencing its first major snowfall of 2019.
Virginia State Police said the driver of a military surplus vehicle was killed late Saturday after he lost control on Interstate 81 because of slick road conditions.
Police said Ronald W. Harris, 73, of Gainesville, Ga., died after his vehicle was struck by two tractor-trailers. The two tractor-trailer drivers were taken to a hospital for injuries that were not considered life-threatening. The state medical examiner determined Sunday that Harris’ death was storm-related, police said.
Virginia State Police said they responded to more than 300 traffic crashes and helped nearly 200 disabled vehicles in Virginia from midnight to late Sunday afternoon.
The storm knocked out power for nearly 200,000 people in Virginia and North Carolina on Sunday, according to PowerOutage.us.
In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Sunday, seeking to help utility crews restore electricity more quickly after power lines fell due to freezing rain, ice and toppled trees. Areas of the state’s western mountains and foothills were hardest-hit along with the western Piedmont region and nearly 1,000 state transportation workers were called out to clear ice and snow.
The wintry mix was also causing problems at airports in the region, including more than 250 flight cancellations Sunday at the three main airports serving the nation’s capital.
By late Sunday afternoon, the Washington, D.C., metro area, northern Virginia and parts of Maryland had total snowfall accumulations ranging from 5 to 8 inches. Central Virginia, including Richmond, had much smaller accumulations — as little as 1 inch — but the snow was followed by hours of sleet and freezing rain.
Information for this article was contributed by Kristine Phillips of The Washington Post; and by staff members of The Associated Press.
The White House is shown Sunday as Washington receives its first major snowfall of 2019.