Father Winter Strikes Again

by Jana Ritter - Published: 2/05/2014

The latest winter storm has struck the Midwest hard and is bringing more snow, freezing rain and ice to the Northeast Wednesday. Already it has forced the cancellations of thousands of flights and caused more delays and headaches for semi truck drivers.

Snow parking

Some of the heaviest snow accumulations Tuesday occurred in states like Kansas and Missouri, which saw up to a foot of snow. "We are looking at a prolonged period of cold, and we are going to have a few more shots at some light snow as we get into Wednesday night and Thursday," said Andy Kleinsasser, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Wichita. Numerous accidents were reported in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, Tuesday where state troopers responded to nearly 300. “The roadway might look clear, but with the freezing temperatures there’s always that possibility of black ice. It doesn’t take very much to lose control,” Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Collin Stosberg said.

Authorities say road conditions may have contributed to a vehicle collision in Des Moines that killed one person, and a two-car crash in southeast Kansas that killed two people was blamed on icy roads. In Michigan, authorities reported several multi-vehicle crashes Wednesday after several inches of snow along Interstate 94 in the Jackson area, including some with injuries, and crashes closed portions of I-69 in the Flint area. The storm also snarled traffic in southern Michigan, including the Detroit area, with accidents reported in Grand Rapids and Saginaw. Two planes became stuck on taxiways at snowy Detroit Metropolitan Airport, requiring trucks to push or pull the regional Delta jets out of the snow.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency, saying a shortage of salt was a factor and another 6 to 12 inches are expected in central and eastern New York by Wednesday evening, according to the National Weather Service. Already nearly 30,000 homes and businesses in New Jersey are without electricity and a number of outages were reported in the Maryland and Philadelphia regions as well.

"It's not an easy forecast by any means — a little bit of everything for everybody, it seems like," said meteorologist John LaCorte with the National Weather Service in State College. "About the only thing we probably won't have are locusts."

Meanwhile, many truck drivers all over the country are waiting for road conditions to improve and the Whiteland exit off I-65 is one of the popular places to pull over. Jack Wheeler said it him three hours to drive his truck 80 miles and he decided to park his big rig and rest for a few hours. “The closer I got to Indianapolis the less you could see the roads and by the time I got to Indianapolis there were no lanes and you just hoped and it was about 20 miles an hour was the fastest you could go,” said Wheeler. Already, the parking lot is filled with semis, some even parking on the street and on the ramps leading up to the interstate.