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Sunday, 16 February 2014





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US killer winter storm marches north

15 Feb BBC

The latest snow storm to blanket the US Atlantic coast this winter is marching north, after being blamed for the deaths of more than two dozen people.

Doctors are trying to save the baby of a 36-year-old expectant mother who was killed by a snow plough in New York. A sheriff in Georgia has “cancelled” Valentine’s Day celebrations because of the bad weather.The winter has left the Great Lakes of the US Midwest almost completely frozen for the first time in two decades.

More than 440,000 households were still without electricity by Friday morning, mainly in Georgia and South Carolina, down from 1.2 million.The weather system is predicted to taper off as it crawls farther north from New England.A milder storm is expected to dump up to 3in (7cm) of snow on the East Coast over the weekend, reports the National Weather Service.

Road conditions in some areas were still treacherous. Thirty people were injured, five severely, in a multiple vehicle pile-up near Philadelphia on Friday morning.Officials said it would take many hours to clear damaged vehicles, including lorries. The crash spawned a traffic jam stretching for five miles (8km).

Many schools remained closed in eight states from Virginia to Maine, while the federal government in Washington DC opened two hours late after shutting down completely on Thursday.

Almost 1,500 flights were cancelled on Friday, compared with 6,500 a day earlier. All flights were grounded at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Thursday.The storm dumped around a foot of snow across the region, though some areas, such as upstate New York, saw up to 27in of the white stuff.The weather system, nicknamed Pax by meteorologists, has been blamed for at least 25 deaths, according to an Associated Press tally, mainly from road accidents.

Pregnant Min Lin, 36, died after being struck on Thursday by a snow plough as it reversed outside a shopping centre in Brooklyn, New York City.She was taken to a hospital, where her nearly full-term baby, weighing 6lb 6oz, was delivered by caesarean section.The child is in a critical condition in a neonatal intensive care unit, a hospital spokeswoman said.No immediate charges were brought against the driver.The fresh spasm of foul weather has delayed tens of thousands of deliveries of Valentine’s Day flowers.”It’s a godawful thing,” Mike Flood, owner of Falls Church Florist in Virginia, told the Associated Press news agency. “We’re going to lose money. There’s no doubt about it.”

A sheriff in north-eastern Georgia, meanwhile, said he was cancelling Valentine’s Day because of the bad weather.In an apparently tongue-in-cheek Facebook post, Sheriff Scott Berry declared the Oconee County region a “No Valentines [sic] Day Zone”.He said all men in the area were exempt from having to buy chocolate or other gifts for their partners until next Tuesday.It has been a particularly icy winter in the US, with almost back-to-back bitter cold snaps.



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