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A multi-vehicle accident in the eastbound lane of the Ohio Turnpike near the County Road 268 overpass ties up traffic Wednesday, March 12, 2014, near Clyde, Ohio. Pileups on the Ohio Turnpike involving at least 50 vehicles killed at least two people and seriously injured a state trooper on Wednesday, said the Ohio State Highway Patrol. (AP Photo/The Toledo Blade, Jeremy Wadsworth)
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A storm that swept through the Midwest and the Northeast just a week before the start of spring dumped more than 2 feet of snow on parts of northern New England and caused pileups on the Ohio Turnpike involving at least 40 vehicles, leaving three people dead and a state trooper seriously injured.
Snowy conditions along the busy toll road Wednesday had emergency workers struggling to reach accidents stretched across a 2-mile section in the eastbound lanes between Toledo and Cleveland. Another series of pileups about 10 miles to the east shut down the turnpike’s westbound lanes near Sandusky.
Mike Ramella, a salesman from the Cleveland suburb of Westlake, was among the drivers mired in traffic that backed up for 7 miles. (more…)
The storms have uncovered a lethal past
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of wartime bombs unearthed because of the winter storms and flooding.
Bomb disposal teams in the South West have dealt with double the number of unexploded ordnance than in the same period last year.
Since mid December, the Royal Navy’s Southern Dive Unit has recovered or disposed of 244 items of ordnance.
During the same period last year, they dealt with just 108 items.
Almost 70 years after the end of WWII, one legacy of that conflict continues to turn up on beaches and harbours around Britain.
Unexploded shells, bombs and mines continue to be discovered every year, and the Royal Navy’s Southern Dive Unit is tasked with making these devices safe.
Its area of responsibility stretches for some 2,250km (1,400 miles). It begins from the highwater mark in Hull and proceeds seaward to the territorial limit, and then runs clockwise around the British Isles – including the Isle of Wight, Channel Islands, and Isles of Scilly – to finish in Liverpool.
Thanks to the unremitting storms and wild weather that have hit the UK since mid-December, these divers have been busier than ever. (more…)
Wildlife organisations are being very careful in assessing the impacts of the recent flooding on species and the environment.
“We are not saying this is a disaster or this is something where wildlife has really suffered,” Grahame Madge from the RSPB told me, keenly aware that when people’s lives and homes are being threatened by rising waters, concerns about animal life comes a distant second.
Certainly the December storms and tidal surges had potentially very serious implications for many coastal habitats and species.
After hurricane-force winds battered the UK on Wednesday, tens of thousands of homes in England and Wales remain without power and there is renewed transport disruption.
The River Severn in flood-hit Worcester earlier reached its highest level in recent years. Here you can see the stands of Worcestershire County Cricket Club surrounded by water.
The Environment Agency said flood defences “in Worcester town are holding, with levels now slowly decreasing” and it had no fears about the river coming over the top of flood defences there.
A weir at Penton Hook Lock, Surrey, is surrounded by debris as the level of water in the River Thames remains high.
At St Paul’s Church in Egham, Surrey, volunteers sort food parcels donated for people affected by severe flooding in the area.
Egham resident Michael Simmonds has lived in this house since he was six years old and this is the first time it has been flooded.
The Army has been laying sandbags in Chertsey where flood defences have been put in to protect about 200 homes.
Pumps belonging to Dutch engineer Jerome van Heck, a flooding expert, have been installed at Dunball Sluice, Bridgwater, Somerset.
The Met Office has issued various yellow, “be aware”, rain, wind, ice and snow warnings for many parts of the UK, and the snow ploughs are already out on the Northumberland border. (more…)
A giant winter storm that gridlocked traffic, left flights cancelled, and knocked out power in the US East Coast has pushed into eastern Canada.
As much as 60cm (24in) was expected to fall in some areas by the end of Friday, blown about by heavy winds, from Quebec to Newfoundland.
Authorities closed a 200km (124 mile) section of the Trans-Canada Highway in Quebec.
The storm has been blamed for the deaths of more than two dozen people.
In the US, almost 450,000 people and businesses remained without power in the typically mild southern states on Friday, some for a third day, after the storm destroyed power lines and knocked down trees. (more…)