North America

Snow storm blankets southeastern US states

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Three people are dead, almost 140,000 homes are without power and hundreds of motorists have been left stranded by heavy snow in the southeastern United States.

An intense storm has headed out to sea after dumping up to 60 cm of snow on parts of the southeastern United States, leaving three people dead in North Carolina and 138,000 without power.

School districts across North and South Carolina and Virginia cancelled classes on Monday and officials warned heavy snow and icy roads were slowing responses to hundreds of stranded motorists.

Crews move equipment into position to de-ice airplanes at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Crews move equipment into position to de-ice airplanes at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Getty

The storm dropped its heaviest snow in the appropriately named Whitetop, Virginia, tucked in the Appalachian Mountains along the western end of the Virginia-North Carolina border, the US National Weather Service said.

Whitetop received 60 cm of snow, while Greensboro, North Carolina, had 41 cm and Durham, North Carolina, got 36 cm.

Slippery conditions on roadways in central and western North Carolina and southwest Virginia were expected on Monday night with temperatures forecast to drop below freezing, Daniel Petersen, NWS meteorologist, said.

But temperatures were expected to rise later in the week, reaching to 10C in North Carolina east of the mountains on Friday, when there is a chance of rain.

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There were three storm-related deaths, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office said.

A person died from a heart-related condition while en route to a shelter and a terminally ill woman died when her oxygen device stopped working.

A motorist also died and a passenger was injured in Matthews in southwestern North Carolina on Sunday when a tree fell on their vehicle.

The number of customers without power in the Carolinas and Virginia had decreased to about 138,000 by Monday evening from more than 220,000, Poweroutage.us reported.

The storm prompted the cancellation of one in four flights into and out of Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, the sixth-busiest in the country, and other airports across the region.

The mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina, Nancy Vaughan, who declared a state of emergency on Sunday, said online its police and fire departments had responded to over 100 accidents and 450 stranded motorists.

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