The Latest: 3 weather-related highway deaths in Missouri

AP News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2016 8:06 PM
The Latest: 3 weather-related highway deaths in Missouri

The Latest on severe winter weather impacting parts of the United States (all times local):

7 p.m.

At least three highway deaths in Missouri are being blamed on icy conditions. With freezing rain and snow continuing across the state, authorities are warning people to stay home.

Ten people died on Missouri roads Friday, when freezing rain and freezing drizzle fell over much of the state. The Missouri State Highway Patrol crash reports indicate three of the deaths were weather-related.

According to the patrol, a 13-year-old girl died from injuries suffered in an accident early Friday in Laclede County in southwest Missouri. The report says a tractor-trailer lost control on ice on Interstate 44, striking a Jeep Renegade driven by the girl's mother. Reports say two men, ages 72 and 56, died in separate accidents when the vehicles they were in went out of control on ice.

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5:30 p.m.

Freezing rain, freezing drizzle and snow created slick roads, traffic headaches and numerous accidents around Missouri on Saturday.

Western Missouri got the worst of it early, then the mess spread east. By dusk, freezing drizzle was battering St. Louis for a second straight day.

Motorists across Missouri were being warned to travel only if absolutely necessary. Police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported numerous accidents. The St. Louis Symphony and St. Louis Ballet called off performances.

The Missouri Department of Transportation reported that Interstate 70 was closed for a time Saturday morning near the western Missouri town of Oak Grove due to freezing drizzle.

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4:35 p.m.

The season's first major winter storm has dumped snow throughout southern New England and caused slippery road conditions.

Snow fell for hours on Saturday morning. The National Weather Service reports snowfall ranged from just under 3 inches in southeastern Massachusetts to higher than 7 inches in parts of Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

Temperatures warmed and snow turned to rain in some places Saturday afternoon. But the weather service warned of treacherous black ice conditions after sunset in parts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Warmer weather is expected Sunday.

More than 100 morning flights were canceled at Boston's Logan International Airport.

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3:15 p.m.

Ice and snow caused dozens of car crashes in Iowa and Nebraska — at least one of which was fatal in Omaha.

But it's the frigid temperatures coupled with strong winds that had officials warning residents Saturday to stay indoors.

In Nebraska, snow fell intermittently from Friday afternoon into Saturday, with amounts of up to 3 inches expected in much of the eastern part of the state. The snow moved into Iowa overnight and was expected throughout much of Saturday. One to 3 inches of snow was expected in much of Iowa, and more than 4 inches was expected in the northernmost reaches of the state.

Douglas County Sheriff's deputies in eastern Nebraska said one person was killed Friday night when his car slid off an icy road north of Omaha, hit a tree and burst into flames.

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2:40 p.m.

As temperatures plunge, a tornado watch has been issued for portions of six states in the Mid-South.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, issued the watch until 9 p.m. Saturday for the eastern third of Arkansas, the western half of both Tennessee and Kentucky, the Missouri boot heel, and portions of northern Mississippi and southern Indiana.

The prediction center said there is a risk of severe thunderstorms Saturday afternoon in western Tennessee, northeastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi that extends into Kentucky.

The primary threat is damaging wind gusts, but large hail and tornadoes are possible.

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2:35 p.m.

Minnesota residents are bracing for the coldest wind chills they've seen in two years.

On Saturday night, temperatures in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area are expected to drop to 20 degrees below zero. The National Weather Service says the wind chill will make it feel as cold as minus 35.

Forecasters say that in parts of greater Minnesota, temperatures could drop to 45 degrees below zero. Motorists across the state have been advised to stay indoors for the weekend, since blowing snow is creating problems in some areas and frostbite could set in within minutes if a driver gets stranded.

Meanwhile, much of Wisconsin is under a winter storm warning, as another round of snow sweeps through the state and temperatures plummet to dangerous levels.

Weather forecasters say the same for Chicago, which experienced light freezing drizzle and fog on Saturday. The low temperature was expected to plummet to 4 degrees.

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12:30 p.m.

Indiana authorities say there have been dozens of crashes — two of them involving fatalities — due to freezing rain and ice that's made the roadways treacherous.

Conditions are so dangerous that the Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/2huFgB4 ) reports that the city's police department is urging motorists to stay off the roadways unless it is "absolutely" necessary to drive somewhere.

Almost the entire state is under a winter weather advisory through Sunday morning. The National Weather Service says there may be accumulating ice and snow in many parts of the state.

The state police says it has responded to at least 180 crashes since late Friday night, including two with fatalities. The number of deaths was not available.

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11:40 a.m.

Authorities say two people were killed and more than a dozen were injured when a gas tanker skidded off an interstate highway in Baltimore and exploded.

Baltimore City Fire Chief Roman Clark said the tanker fell over the jersey wall on Interstate-95 and burst into flames early Saturday.

Clark said there was also pileup involving 55 vehicles. He said it's unclear whether the pileup started before the tanker crash or was caused by the incident.

Clark says 15 people with taken to the hospital.

Scores of traffic accidents were being reported across the region due to slick roads. Clark said the roads were very icy, but it's too early to say what caused the tanker to careen off the highway.

The National Weather Service issued a freezing rain advisory for the Baltimore-Washington D.C. region early Saturday and warned of travel difficulties on slippery roads.

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10:50 a.m.

Two airports serving the nation's capital are experiencing delays or cancellations Saturday after a blast of cold air combined with precipitation to cause icy conditions across the region.

Washington Dulles International airport reopened two runways after having to close all runways for more than three hours due to icy weather.

Wintry weather forced the airport to halt all flights early Saturday. The airport says two runways reopened for flights as of 10 a.m., but that travels should expect residual cancelations and delays.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says Reagan Washington National Airport is operating normally, but some flights may be delayed or cancelled due to bad weather along the East coast.

A spokesman for Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport says the weather is causing some delays and cancelations but no runways have been closed.

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10:35 a.m

Light freezing rain has caused scores of traffic accidents along roads in central North Carolina, adding to the road mayhem scattered throughout the Eastern U.S.

Police and emergency workers reported more than 100 crashes overnight Saturday in Raleigh and Charlotte as the drizzle combined with temperatures below freezing for approaching 40 hours combined to create dangerous icy patches.

Charlotte police reported two people dead in separate fatal crashes early Saturday, although investigators are still trying to figure out if ice caused the wrecks.

The freezing drizzle was too light to bring down power lines or tree branches.

Forecasters say temperatures should rise above freezing before noon Saturday, melting the ice.

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10:20 a.m.

Snow and freezing rain are creating treacherous driving conditions in Ohio and 3 to 4 inches of snow are forecast for New York City after a couple of days of bitter cold in the Northeast.

Temperatures are expected to rise above freezing later in the day.

Authorities say a Columbus, Ohio, woman died Saturday after her car went off a slick road, became stuck, and then was hit by another vehicle. Franklin County authorities say the woman, 20-year-old Savana Carrier, was standing outside her car when she and her vehicle were hit.

Snow in New York City started falling early Saturday. About half an inch had accumulated before sunrise. Long Island is expected to see 2 to 3 inches.

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Icy roads are causing major and minor pileups in parts of Virginia and Maryland.

Bob Maloney of the Baltimore City Office of Emergency Management was quoted by WBAL-TV as saying that at least 30 cars were involved in an accident on northbound I-95.

Baltimore County said on Twitter that between 15 and 20 vehicles were involved in a crash on I-695 near Rosedale. Six people were taken to the hospital.

The National Weather Service has issued a wintry weather advisory for the Baltimore area, meaning that periods of sleet and freezing rain through noon will lead to slippery roads and limited visibility.

Virginia State Police say 41 traffic crashes were reported in northern Virginia. It was unclear how many were due to slick roads. One fatality was reported.