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Winter Storm Gia: 13 Dead, Thousands Without Power, Roads Closed
Published: January 14, 2019
At least 13 people have been killed and over 70,000 remain without power Monday afternoon as mid-Atlantic states dig out from Winter Storm Gia's weekend wrath.
An 81-year-old man was killed and three others were seriously injured in a crash thought to be caused by slick conditions on a highway in Jefferson County, Kansas, according to Kansas Highway Patrol. Lee Crum of Oskaloosa was killed when a pickup truck lost control and veered into his car, sending it into a roadside ditch.
The three other people involved in the crash were taken to Topeka hospitals with serious injuries.
In the nation's capital, 4 to 7 inches of snow fell overnight and the three major airports serving the area, Reagan National, Dulles and Baltimore, saw over 700 flights canceled Sunday alone, according to FlightAware.com. An additional 764 flights were scrubbed into and out of the U.S. on Friday and Saturday.
More than 27,000 North Carolina customers and 25,000 households in Missouri remained without power Monday morning, according to PowerOutage.us. At the height of Gia, some 200,000 customers lost power in Virginia and North Carolina.
Virginia's Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday evening in anticipation of the effects of Gia. At least three people died on Virginia highways over the weekend.
Dozens of roads in North Carolina were closed because of falling trees, and many churches were delaying or canceling Sunday services, WLOS reports. Western parts of the state saw as much as a half-inch of ice, the National Weather Service said.
North Carolina's Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Sunday. In a news release, Cooper said almost 1,000 N.C. Department of Transportation workers were clearing snow and ice in the western part of the state and in the Greensboro area. Work was also concentrated in counties along the Virginia border and in the northern coastal area, Cooper said.
13 People Killed in the Storm
Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert, 34, was driving home from work Saturday when he stopped to help at a three-car crash on I-294 in Glenview, the Chicago Sun Times reported. Lambert was hit by a passing vehicle about 4:45 p.m., Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz said at a news conference. The driver who hit Lambert stopped, Schmitz said. The crash appeared to be an accident but was still under investigation.
Illinois State Police also said a Troy, Illinois, man was killed about 5 p.m. Friday when he lost control of his vehicle and crossed into oncoming traffic, striking a van, as he drove east on U.S. Highway 40 in Madison County, KSDK-TV reported. Allen Reinacher, 73, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt. A woman and three passengers in the van he struck were taken to St Joseph’s Hospital in Highland with non life-threatening injuries.
Virginia State Police say the storm contributed to the crash shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday of a military surplus vehicle on Interstate 81 in Pulaski County that killed Ronald W. Harris, 73, of Gainesville, Georgia, the Associated Press reported. The tractor-trailer drivers were taken to a hospital.
At 4:10 a.m. Sunday in Brunswick County, a 16-year-old boy from Alberta, Virginia, died after a pickup truck driven by another 16-year-old lost control on an icy bridge and hit a tree, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The driver was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police said speed and alcohol were factors.
Virginia State Police also said Stephanie D. Jefferson, 27, died after she lost control of her car and struck a minivan before slamming into a barricade about 8 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 64 in Norfolk, WAVY reported. The driver of the minivan was not injured. Speed was a factor in the crash, police said.
One person was killed about 2 p.m. Saturday in a crash on Interstate 70 near State Road 9 in Greenfield, Indiana, WISH-TV reported. At 3 p.m., all lanes of westbound I-70 were closed near the crash.
In West Virginia, a Moundsville man in his mid 30s was killed in a crash Saturday afternoon on state Highway 2 in Marshall County, Sheriff Kevin Cecil told the Intelligencier. The man lost control of his car and “spun out.” It collided “nearly head-on” with a southbound vehicle.
At least five people were killed in crashes on slick roadways in Kansas and Missouri, according to the Associated Press.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Deann Phillips, 53, and her 14-year-old stepdaughter Olivia Phillips, both from Urich, Missouri, died after their car slid into the path of a semitrailer in Clinton on Friday, according to Fox 4.
Another woman, Hope Wilson, 32, of Carrollton, died about 3 p.m. Friday when her car slid on U.S. 24 in northern Missouri and was hit by an oncoming SUV, KMZU reported. The passenger of the SUV was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.
Bradley Horton, 62, of Topeka, died Friday after his pickup truck skidded on the Kansas Turnpike and hit a concrete barrier, KSNT reported.
Another crash involving two semitrailers in snowy conditions killed a 41-year-old driver from Mexico, the state patrol said.
Stuck on Snowy Interstates For Hours
In a Saturday morning tweet, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson expressed concern and urged all residents to stay off the roads until conditions improved.
The northbound lanes of Interstate 65 in northern Indiana were closed for hours Saturday after a semi-trailer jackknifed along the snow-covered highway about 65 miles northwest of Indianapolis. By about 1 p.m., state troopers had responded to 100 crashes, Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine told the Indianapolis Star. In addition to I-65, portions of I-70 and northbound I-465 were closed at various times Saturday.
On Friday, more than 800 motorists became stranded during rush hour as falling snow made Missouri's Interstate 44 virtually impassable.
The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore, reporting Saturday morning from the interstate west of St. Louis, noted that many people remained stuck in conditions he called "horrible."
Some interstates in Missouri, including I-70 and I-44, reopened Saturday morning after being shutdown Friday night, but treacherous conditions continued.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said that by 2 p.m. Saturday it had responded to 3918 calls for service, 1790 stranded motorists and 878 crashes.
In Iowa, southbound lanes of Interstate 35 near Decatur City remained closed Saturday morning after a passenger bus carrying seven passengers struck an overturned tractor-trailer, injuring one, the Associated Press reports.
Planes Slide Off Runways
On Friday afternoon, a plane slid off the runway after landing at Columbia Regional Airport in Columbia, Missouri, Rob Quinn tweeted shortly before 3:30 p.m. EST.
"Plane tipped - wing almost hitting the ground. ... I’m on exit row. Bus coming to get us. Stewardess just announced 'congratulations on surviving your first plane crash,'" he said in a tweet.
KOMU-TV reported the plane was American Airlines Flight 5766 from Dallas. The station said passenger Theresa Cook said there were no injuries. A bus sent to take passengers from the plane got stuck, and passengers had to be driven to the terminal three at a time.
Part of the roof of the Canine Sports Center in Columbia, Missouri, collapsed on Saturday, KMZU reported. Firefighters said the weight of snow on the roof may have been the cause.
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