SNOW IS SMIL­ING; TRAVELERS ARE NOT

Foot of snow dumped across Colorado, Ne­braska, Illi­nois and Iowa

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAN BOY­LAN This ar­ti­cle is based in part on wire ser­vice re­ports.

The big­gest snow­storm of the year so far brought fun for chil­dren but haz­ards for driv­ers. As the storm surged out of the Mid­west on Fri­day, it caused hun­dreds of car crashes and was blamed for at least five deaths on the road. Sleet, ice and snow also knocked out power lines, forced hun­dreds of flights to be can­celed and jammed road­ways in the Dis­trict, Mary­land and Vir­ginia.

A mas­sive win­ter snow­storm that blan­keted the Mid­west and was blamed for at least five road deaths rolled over the Mid-At­lantic area on Sun­day, par­a­lyz­ing the Dis­trict of Columbia and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

Over­all, more than 35 mil­lion peo­ple were un­der win­ter weather alerts over the week­end, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice.

The big­gest storm of 2019 dumped more than a foot of snow across Colorado, Ne­braska, Illi­nois and Iowa. Parts of Kansas and Mis­souri recorded up to 20 inches of snow, those state’s high­est snow­fall to­tals in years.

The storm surged out of the Mid­west on Fri­day and caused more more than 800 snow-re­lated crashes in Mis­souri, where the state High­way pa­trol re­ported a to­tal of 57 in­jured mo­torists and four dead.

In Chicago, Illi­nois State Po­lice Trooper Christo­pher Lambert died af­ter be­ing struck while stand­ing out­side his pa­trol car Satur­day to pro­tect the scene of a three-car crash caused by the snowy con­di­tions.

“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,” State Po­lice Di­rec­tor Leo P. Sch­mitz said in a state­ment about the five-year po­lice vet­eran. “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.”

Sleet, ice and snow knocked out power lines, forced hun­dreds of flights to be can­celled and jammed road­ways in the Dis­trict of Columbia, cen­tral Mary­land and North­ern and North­west Vir­ginia.

Vir­ginia Gov. Ralph Northam de­clared a state of emer­gency Satur­day in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the storm.

On Fri­day, the storm moved into Kansas and Ne­braska from the Rock­ies, then roared east into Mis­souri, Iowa, Illi­nois and In­di­ana, cov­er­ing roads and mak­ing driv­ing dan­ger­ous.

Dam­age and de­lays were ev­ery­where. Part of In­ter­state 44 near St. Louis was blocked for sev­eral hours Satur­day, and at one point, the Mis­souri State High­way Pa­trol warned of traf­fic de­lays as long as eight hours.

In In­di­ana, the north­bound lanes of In­ter­state 65 were closed for hours Satur­day af­ter a semitruck jack­knifed along the snow-cov­ered high­way near Lafayette, about 65 miles north­west of In­di­anapo­lis.

Mis­souri troop­ers re­sponded to more than 3,000 calls for help through early Satur­day af­ter­noon, in­clud­ing more than 700 crashes and 1,300 stranded ve­hi­cles.

In Kansas and Mis­souri, at least five peo­ple were killed in crashes on slick road­ways, in­clud­ing a woman and her 14-year-old step­daugh­ter whose car slid into the path of a trac­tor trailer Fri­day in Clin­ton, about 80 miles south­east of Kansas City, the Mis­souri State High­way Pa­trol said.

An­other woman died when her car slid on U.S. 24 in north­ern Mis­souri and was hit by an on­com­ing SUV.

In Kansas, a 62-year-old man died af­ter his pickup truck skid­ded on the Kansas Turn­pike and hit a con­crete bar­rier, ac­cord­ing to po­lice. An­other crash in­volv­ing two trac­tor trail­ers in snowy con­di­tions killed a 41-year-old driver from Mex­ico, the pa­trol said.

Illi­nois State Po­lice said troop­ers along the Mis­sis­sippi River across from St. Louis had re­sponded to more than 100 crashes dur­ing the storm.

At St. Louis Lambert In­ter­na­tional Air­port, most flights were can­celled or de­layed.

In cen­tral Mis­souri, of­fi­cials said about 12,000 house­holds and busi­nesses were with­out power in Columbia and the sur­round­ing area at one point.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHO­TOGRAPHS

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHO­TOGRAPHS

Jeff Clif­ford digs out his girl­friend’s car from a pile of snow on Satur­day in St. Louis. More than 800 snow-re­lated crashes oc­curred this week­end in Mis­souri.

Juan Vela plows snow away from the side­walk in front of Bar Bosco in Terre Haute, In­di­ana, on Satur­day. North­bound lanes of In­ter­state 65 were closed for hours Satur­day af­ter a semitruck jack­nifed along the high­way near Lafayette, In­di­ana.

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