A historic winter storm hits the western United States | The world | DW

A winter storm, described as “historic” due to the amount of snow that is coming down from it, is hitting the Rocky Mountain states and the northern Great Plains this Sunday (14.03.2021), causing road and airport closures and affecting nearly 30 million people in the United States.

In Colorado and Wyoming, the two countries with the greatest snowfall impact, about 10 inches of snow accumulation at the end of the day are expected to occur in urban areas and twice in near-mountain areas, with a record-high potential of 65 cm in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

As the hours pass, the low pressure system coming from the west will continue to collide east of the Rocky Mountains with the high pressure system and moist air coming from the south (Gulf of Mexico), so the storm will intensify and expand. The National Weather Service said in a statement today.

Interstate highways are closed

So, while Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota will “have heavy snow and winds build up,” in eastern Colorado and Nebraska, and in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma among other areas, storms can be seen. That actually happened this Saturday in Texas.

Colorado and Wyoming closed Interstate 25 (which runs through those states from north to south), as well as Interstate 70 (Colorado) and Interstate 80 and 90 (Wyoming), which run east to west. However, authorities will temporarily reopen some sectors to prevent motorists being stranded on those roads.

About 2,000 Denver flights have been canceled

Meanwhile, Denver International Airport, the largest airfield in the region, has canceled about 2,000 flights, not because of difficulties in continuing operations (the airport is ready to respond to these storms), but because of staff (including pilots) difficulties. ) To get to the place.

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When a “dangerous” storm reaches its maximum this afternoon, it will stretch the region between the Mississippi River in the east and the Rocky Mountains in the west, putting “lives and property in danger”, according to Alex Sosnowski, chief meteorologist at AccuWeather.

Crops and livestock are at risk

Although no fatalities have yet been grieved, the storm is expected to cause heavy livestock deaths in Wyoming and destroy entire crops in eastern Colorado and parts of Kansas and Nebraska.

“It took some time for the storm to arrive yesterday, Saturday, and although it arrived a little later than expected, today it is more severe and will stay with us for longer than we originally expected,” said Shoshana Liu, Executive Director of the Department. Colorado Transportation (CDOT).

“Tonight, when it gets dark, the cold starts, and more snow sticks in the roads,” said John Lormi, chief of operations at CDOT.

GC (effect, AP)

Sacha Woodward

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