Deadly Ice Storm Could Cripple Nation’s Midsection
An ice storm slowly crawling across the nation’s heartland continues to freeze roadways and create dangerous travel conditions.
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) January 14, 2017
The storm is blamed for at least four deaths as of Saturday evening– three in Missouri and one in Oklahoma. According to Oklahoma highway patrol, Interstate 40 was closed in two places due to accidents.
— NWS Dodge City (@NWSDodgeCity) January 14, 2017
Ice storm warnings extend from the Texas panhandle to southern Illinois, with freezing rain advisories extending eastward toward the mid-Atlantic.
As much as an inch of ice is forecast to build up on roads throughout Kansas and northwest Oklahoma, where a state of emergency is in place.
Missouri has also declared a state of emergency where extensive power outages are anticipated.
By Saturday afternoon, Aldrich and Waynesville, MO., reported 0.75 inches of freezing rain; Tulsa, Oklahoma registered 0.24 inches; and Darrouzett, Texas received 0.25 inches. Springfield, MO received a period of heavy freezing rain while receiving thunder and lightning!
Ice accumulations in excess of 0.5″ is enough to cause severe travel disruptions and extensive power outages. A half inch of ice adds roughly 500 pounds of weight to tree limbs.
In Kansas City, the NFL rescheduled the AFC divisional playoff game between the Steelers and Chiefs to Sunday evening as road crews will have more time to treat the roadways.
The threat for freezing rain will shift northward through Sunday and into the upper Midwest Sunday night where ice storm warnings and winter storm warnings have been issued.
Parts of Minnesota, including Minneapolis remains under a winter storm watch through Tuesday morning as significant ice and snow accumulations may occur.