Snowstorm Threatens 85m Americans

Snowstorm Threatens 85m AmericansSnowstorm Threatens 85m Americans

Parts of the eastern United States are buried under 60 cm of snow after a huge blizzard began falling on Friday across more than 20 states, affecting some 85 million people.

In Kentucky, where the heaviest snowfall was recorded, thousands of drivers were left stranded in a 56-km traffic jam. At least nine people have died and emergencies declared in 10 states. Tens of thousands of homes are without power, BBC reported.

The nation’s capital, Washington, could lie under a record 76 cm of snow by the time the storm passes on Sunday.

The weather system has affected a huge swathe of the country, from Arkansas in the south to Massachusetts in the north-east. The US federal government closed down at noon on Friday. US President Obama is remaining at the White House.

The National Weather Service warned that the worst of the snow would fall in the Washington area from the early hours of Saturday to the early afternoon, with winds of more than 80 kph.

In Baltimore, teams of mental health specialists were working to bring some of the estimated 3,000 homeless people to shelter, the New York Times reported.

The most intense parts of the snowstorm were heading north toward New York State on Saturday. Residents have been told to find a safe place and stay there until the storm has passed.