At least 5 dead as snowstorm pounds St. Louis and heads to East Coast

Residents in St. Louis were digging out from several inches of snow Saturday (AP photo)

At least five people have died and scores were injured and stranded as a snowstorm pounded St. Louis and other parts of Missouri, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

In a tweet Saturday morning, the patrol said it also had responded to 48 injuries, 723 crashes, 1,252 stranded motorists and 2,968 calls for service.

St. Louis had recorded 10.4 inches of snow by 12:30 p.m., with higher accumulations in other parts of Missouri. A foot was recorded in Columbia and 17 inches in Harrisburg as of 9 a.m.

Part of Interstate 44 near St. Louis was blocked for several hours Saturday, and at one point the Missouri State Highway Patrol warned of traffic delays as long as eight hours.

At least five people were killed in crashes on slick roadways in Kansas and Missouri. They included a woman and her 14-year-old stepdaughter whose car slid into the path of a semitrailer in Clinton, about 80 miles southeast of Kansas City, on Friday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. Another woman died when her car slid on U.S. 24 in northern Missouri and was hit by an oncoming SUV.

In Kansas, a 62-year-old man died after his pickup truck skidded on the Kansas Turnpike and hit a concrete barrier, according to the patrol. Another crash involving two semitrailers in snowy conditions killed a 41-year-old driver from Mexico, the patrol said.

The storm is headed east, where it’s expected to blanket Washington and Baltimore, forecasters said. Four to 6 inches are predicted for Washington and 2 to 3 inches for Baltimore, they said.

“We have a strong snowstorm that’s stretching 1,400 miles from Kansas to the East Coast,” CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. “St. Louis is seeing its worse snowstorm in five years. We’re going to see a significant snow event for the mid-Atlantic to start the year for 2019.”

More than 65 million people are under a winter storm advisory, watch or warning.

But the storm wasn’t all bad. Video from St. Louis affiliate station KTVI shows sledders and even kayakers sliding down the snow and making snowmen in parks and yards.