A massive Winter snowstorm making its way across the MidWest and into the Mid-Atlantic region dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of Missouri and contributed to at least 5 deaths.
The storm moved into Kansas and Nebraska from the Rockies Friday, then east into Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, covering roads and making driving dangerous.
Part of Interstate 44 near St. Louis was blocked for several hours Saturday, and at 1 point the Missouri State Highway Patrol warned of traffic delays as long as 8 hours.
The storm was expected to spread east into the Mid-Atlantic region, with between 3 and 6 incs of snow expected in the Washington, DC area, including parts of northern and central Maryland on Sunday. Forecasters said heavier snow and higher amounts could fall in mountain areas north of Interstate 64, such as Charlottesville and Staunton, Virginia
Missouri had gotten the worst of the storm Saturday, with the National Weather Service reporting more than a foot of snow Saturday morning in some places around St. Louis and Jefferson City, and more than 18 ins in Columbia.
At least 5 people were killed in crashes on slick roadways in Kansas and Missouri.
“We’re anticipating still more snow through today, so we’re asking motorists to stay home until the roads are cleared,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Collin Stosberg, stationed in suburban Kansas City. “If you do have to get out on the road, we’re asking you to do three things: Have your cellphone fully charged, wear your seat belt and slow your speed for the conditions.”
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. Illinois State Police said troopers along the Mississippi River across from St. Louis have responded to more than 100 crashes during the storm.
At Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, most flights were canceled or delayed.
In central Missouri, officials said about 12,000 households and businesses were without power in Columbia and the surrounding area at 1 point.