Winter storm hits US Midwest leaving at least five dead

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Winter storm warnings stretch from areas in Kansas to Rhode Island as Gia continues to drop snow across hundreds of miles. Photos and videos posted to social media show the storm's chaotic aftermath.

The power company says the winter storm has caused widespread outages in the Kansas City area. It also hit parts of other states including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Missouri seemed to get the worst of it with a foot of snow falling near Saint Louis and even more in Columbia.

At least five deaths in the state have been reported due to automobile crashes on the icy roads.

In a tweet Saturday night, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said it had responded to 57 injuries, 878 crashes, 1,790 stranded motorists and 3,918 calls for service.

It is forecast to leave up to 10 inches (25cm) of snow in Washington DC and parts of Maryland by Sunday and there could also be heavy snow in Virginia.

By late morning Saturday, officials had reported almost 11 inches (28 centimeters) of snow at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, where most flights were canceled or delayed.

Topeka resident Bradley S. Horton, 62, died after crashing into a barrier while driving in the snow in Kansas on Friday, KSNT reported.

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"There could be a period of ice that we're concerned about across portions of central North Carolina and back into the mountains", he added. Between 2-3 more inches was expected to fall later Saturday as snow showers lingered into Sunday morning, Maples said.

Many people who went slow Saturday still lost control of their vehicles in the wet conditions, White said. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says almost 300 vehicles had slid off roads across the state and more than 175 crashes had been reported by late Saturday morning.

Virginia state police said the storm contributed to a fatal crash on Interstate 81.

There is a small chance the southern Appalachians will get enough freezing rain and sleet to bring an ice event Saturday into Sunday.

AccuWeather meteorologist Bill Deger said in a blog post: "In much of swath from Missouri to southern OH, this will heavy and wet and a strain to shovel". The Southeast has seen abundant precipitation in December and January, and the additional rain could put a strain on already-high rivers. Hundreds of thousands of power outages have been reported across Kansas, Missouri, Virginia and North Carolina, according to Poweroutage.us, and over 650 flights have been canceled as over 1,100 have experienced delays across the USA on Sunday as of 12 p.m. EST, according to FlightAware. If travel is necessary please refer to MoDot's interactive road map here: Missouri DOT Road Conditions.

The University of Missouri men's basketball game at the University of SC was also canceled Saturday because of weather-related travel problems, the team tweeted.

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