Major Winter Storm Blasts Parts of U.S.

Harsh winter weather in the form of heavy snow is battering parts of the U.S. normally spared of such conditions. Roads in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri posed serious risk for driver with at least two known deaths from weather related incidents.

Authorities have been warning residents to stay off the roads and The National Weather Service warned of extremely difficult travel conditions. More than seven inches of snow had fallen in the Kansas City area by nightfall with more expected later Wednesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama has declared an emergency for Georgia, where forecasters predict a crippling ice storm. Obama has ordered federal funds to supplement the state response to the storm that threatens to coat cities and highways with ice.  The storm is expected to pull down trees and power lines and possibly knock out power to thousands.

Clouds can be seen associated with a major winter storm that is bringing wintry precipitation and chilly temperatures to the U.S. South on Feb. 11, 2014. /Reuters Clouds can be seen associated with a major winter storm that is bringing wintry precipitation and chilly temperatures to the U.S. South on Feb. 11, 2014. /Reuters

Forecasters have posted a winter storm warning for Georgia through Thursday afternoon.  Heavy rain and cold gusty winds can be expected.

Wednesday's storm also is predicted to bring ice and snow from Alabama into Virginia, while heavy snow is forecast for Thursday in the mid-Atlantic through New England.

The normally temperate South is not used to fierce winter weather and sometimes finds itself unprepared. An ice storm that hit the city of Atlanta two weeks ago took authorities by surprise and paralyzed traffic.

VOA News / Feb. 13, 2014 07:40 KST