Deadly winter storms are currently sweeping across on both side of the Atlantic. It is not a good time to be on the roads in a area from the Midwest to the Atlantic Coast due to Winter Storm Gia, which has already killed 5 in weather-related crashes. In Europe, the snow that has accumulated since last week has killed more than 21 people. Now avalanche alerts are maximal after a Swiss hotel has been hit, leaving 3 injured. At least 21 deaths have been linked to the winter storms in Europe. Areas in Austria have been evacuated over fears of a large avalanche.
Major winter storm Gia, USA
Winter Storm Gia continued its siege on the Midwest Saturday after leaving hundreds of motorists stranded on Missouri roads, causing scores of crashes and killing at least five.
And here the forecast:
More than 800 motorists became stranded during rush hour Friday evening 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.
Just slid off the runway in Columbia MO. Stuck on the plane- but all are OK. pic.twitter.com/7ERGRoSDEt— Rob Quinn (@RobJQuinn) January 11, 2019
At least three fatalities in Missouri are a result of weather-related crashes. The storm that has dumped up to 17 inches of snow in some areas of Missouri has also resulted in more than 2,000 calls for help and more than 175 crashes that left at least 40 people injured.
Saturday morning, more than 64,000 Missouri customers were without power, according to PowerOutage.us.
State police in Kansas also reported fatality crash related to the storm after the driver lost control of his pickup truck and struck the center barrier on the Kansas Turnpike. A second Kansas crash Friday evening involving two semi-trailers killed a 41-year-old driver from Mexico.
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.
Meanwhile in Europe
Several winter storms swept across large parts of Europe, bringing unprecedented large amount of snow. The series of storms have killed at least 21 people over the past week in eastern and northern Europe. Avalanches were to blame for many of those deaths.
- The storms have trapped motorists in their vehicles in Germany and stranded residents and tourists in Austrian alpine villages cut off by blocked roadways.
- More than 100 people were evacuated Wednesday on Norway’s Arctic Svalbard islands as a precaution because of an approaching storm and the risk of avalanches.
- About 600 residents and tourists were cut off in villages in the Styria region of Austria over the weekend when roadways became impassable. Other villages in the Alps have also been cut off by snow-blocked roads.
- Travel in the region has been crippled by the heavy snowfall, with numerous train connections halted and hundreds of flights canceled.
1/ The problems with the #snow mass in the #Alps esp. #Austria are increasing. The roofs must be made snow free because more powder is coming. Highest risk of #Avalances at cat. 5. Roads are closed & valleys unreachable…. pic.twitter.com/scu16sIuIG— Ronaldo Wilbrink (@WXRonaldo) January 9, 2019
- Numerous roadways, including major highways, are closed because of the treacherous conditions. Crashes have been reported in numerous locales throughout Europe as a result of the storm.
- Some ski resorts have reported up to 7 feet of snow in higher elevations, forcing some resorts to close.
- A swiss hotel was engulfed by a snow avalanche:
- The mountain rescue service and the German Alpine Association warned against ski or hiking tours in unsafe areas. The avalanche danger in the southern Alps is at Level 4, the second highest warning level.
- The threat of avalanches prompted the Austrian railway company OeBB to suspend several connections.
Storms in Europe quieted down Friday but more snow is expected in many areas over the weekend. The snow apocalypse continues.