| USA TODAY
Major accident involving 100 cars leaves at least three dead
The Fort Worth Fire Department said they were on scene of a 100-car pileup with “multiple people trapped.”
USA TODAY, Storyful
NEW YORK – A winter storm dropped ice and snow along a 1,500-mile swath of land Thursday from central Texas through southern New Jersey, triggering widespread power outages and deadly pileups on treacherous highways.
In Fort Worth, Texas, where roads were slick and icy, a 70-vehicle pileup led to five deaths and multiple injuries on I-35 Thursday morning, the Police Department said.
Farther south, in Austin, more than two dozen vehicles were involved in a pileup on an icy road, and one person was injured, emergency officials said. “This cannot be overstated today,” the National Weather Service in Austin tweeted Thursday morning. “PLEASE, DO NOT TRAVEL in the Hill Country and northern I-35 corridor. Conditions will continue to deteriorate as elevated roadways ice over first, followed by other roads.”
The storm that’s likely to affect millions moved into parts of Arkansas and Kentucky overnight and Thursday morning. It could bring up to half an inch of ice accumulation in some areas, the weather service said.
“A mixture of sleet and freezing rain is forecast to gradually come to an end today, but not before leaving a long swath of damaging ice accumulations,” the weather service said.
The Ozarks to the I-64 corridor in eastern Kentucky could see a quarter-inch of ice, according to the weather service.
“This amount of ice will likely lead to hazardous travel conditions, power outages and scattered tree damage,” the weather service said in a forecast.
In the Fort Worth crash, Mike Drivdahl, a public information officer for the Fire Department, told USA TODAY that first responders had to rescue multiple people from their vehicles using hydraulic tools. In addition to the fatalities, injuries ranged from minor to critical, and some people were transported to area hospitals.
The incident occurred around a toll lane separated by a concrete barrier that created a “funnel type of effect,” Drivdahl said.
“I’m sure it’s going to come down to a chain reaction kind of event,” he said. Sand and ice melt were needed to make the roads safe for first responders trying to access the scene of the crash, he said.
Polar vortex brings freezing temperatures, snow and ice to US
Arctic air brings very cold temperatures and the threat for snow and ice into the Ohio Valley and into the mid-Atlantic through late this week.
More than 57,000 customers in Kentucky and 43,000 in West Virginia were without power Thursday afternoon, according to tracking website PowerOutage.us.
Through Friday, the storm is forecast to bring light snow to the Ohio Valley and Central Appalachians to the Mid-Atlantic, which could see 2 to 6 inches, according to the weather service.
More freezing rain is possible Friday for the central Appalachians and parts of Virginia and northern North Carolina, the weather service said.
“Accidents and icy conditions could potentially shut down portions of highways for an extended period,” AccuWeather…