26 Dec 2009

Blizzards continue in US Midwest

9:11 am on 26 December 2009

At least 18 people have died as a result of blizzards and freezing temperatures in the United States Midwest.

Emergencies have been declared in South Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma, where the highways have been closed after a series of accidents.

The BBC reports blizzard warnings apply in at least 10 states.

The weather has stranded holiday travellers and led churches to cancel Christmas services.

The National Weather Service says the storm is spanning two thirds of the country.

Oklahoma City had 14 inches (35cm) of snow on Thursday night, eclipsing the record of 2.5 inches set in 1914.

The storm began in the south-west on Tuesday before spreading to the east and north.

Meanwhile, the East Coast is still recovering from record snowfall last weekend, which brought much of the capital Washington DC to a standstill.