Frozen nation: At least 11 dead as cold, ice and snow grip US
The deaths of at least 11 people — including three in California and the mayor of a small Missouri town — were blamed on the deep freeze, which canceled hundreds of flights and left hundreds of thousands of people without power.
The Santa Clara County, Calif., Sheriff’s Office said hypothermia — an extremely low body temperature — had killed three people since frigid conditions rolled in late Wednesday, NBC Bay Area reported. An earlier report from the medical examiner’s office said four people had died, but it included a person who was found dead last week, before the current weather system hit the region.
With icy conditions stretching almost coast to coast, the cold blast was blamed for deaths as far east as Indiana, where a woman died in a four-vehicle crash in Wayne County, and as far south as Arkansas, where an ice-coated tree fell on the camper housing a 62-year-old man in Pope County, authorities told NBC News.
Other weather-related deaths:
- Ronald Arnall, mayor of Granby, Mo., died when his truck slid off icy State Route 97 and struck a tree Wednesday in Lawrence County, the State Highway Patrol said.
- A 16-year-old girl was killed when she lost control of her car on a slush-covered road a quarter-mile from school Wednesday in Lakeville, Minn., police said. The car slid sideways and was struck broadside by a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.
- A 55-year-old man was killed when he was ejected from a car that lost control Wednesday on a highway near Sioux City, Iowa. The car crossed the median of the highway, which was 100 percent ice-covered, and was struck by a freight truck traveling in the other direction, the Iowa State Patrol said.
- A man was discovered dead under an overpass Wednesday in subfreezing temperatures in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.
- The body of a man was found behind a convenience store Wednesday night in Carson City, Nev., after temperatures fell into the single digits, the coroner’s office said.
- A driver was killed when his car slammed into a truck Friday in Arlington, Texas, near Dallas, police said.
North Texas was especially hard hit: About 165,000 people were still left in the dark Friday night after sleet weighed down power lines and snapped tree branches. Dallas called off its marathon for this weekend, with many of the thousands of expected runners unable to get there.
More than 1,600 flights were canceled at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. And sister airlines American and American Eagle, which are based in Fort Worth, canceled about 1,370 flights across the country because of the weather in Texas.
“We are far from over here,” said Jim Cantore, a storm tracker for The Weather Channel. With a morning low forecast to be 17 degrees, the Dallas area could have “big problems, especially with these winds continuing to blow everything around.”
Five states had recorded at least 2½ feet of snow since Wednesday. The highest total was 35 inches, near Two Harbors, Minn.
Winter storm warnings covered parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The manager of a Home Depot store in Dallas concluded: “It’s almost like a Black Friday. But I guess we’ll call it an Ice Friday.”