Midwest Still Plagued with Snowfall
December 14, 2000
The Midwest was still dealing with widespread power outages and difficult travel early this morning, hoping for relief from storms that brought freezing rain, frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall throughout the week.
According to the Associated Press, slick roads and heavy snowfall caused at least eight traffic deaths throughout Texas, Missouri and Arkansas.
"This is as much snow as we've seen in the last 15 years and we got it all in one whack," said Charles Ward, city superintendent in the small southeastern Kansas town of Colony. The area received about 14 inches of snow.
A pileup of about 15 big rigs and passenger vehicles shut down parts of Interstates 55 and 40 in Arkansas, and at one point, 80 trucks were backed up on another highway. No serious injuries were reported.
Truckers in Southwest Missouri seem to be having an especially rough time digging their way out of the storm. Bob Etherton, a driver from Joplin, Mo., says the local Petro and Pilot truck stops in his hometown are full, and that the exit of I-44 and Highway 43 is blocked with trucks trying to get off and find a place to park.
The storms also practically shut down the electrical systems in Arkansas and Texas and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights in and out of the area.
"This very well could be the worst ice storm we've ever seen in terms of damage to the electrical system," Entergy spokesman David Lewis said. "The ice is it. Snow wouldn't have hurt nearly this bad."
The remnants of the storm that began Tuesday were expected to continue today, along with more bitter temperatures.