Friday, January 20, 2012

Snows, floods, ice and tornadoes: Three dead and thousands without power as winter sweeps in with a vengeance

Three people have died, tens of thousands lost power, and hundreds of cars slid off roads a today after the Pacific Northwest was hit with a major snowfall.

The storm claimed the lives of a mother and her one-year-old son, their bodies pulled from an Oregon creek after their car was swept from a grocery store parking lot and a person killed by a falling tree east of Seattle.

Rescuers were searching yesterday for the Oregon child's mother, who was missing in the creek in the Willamette Valley community of Albany, about 70 miles south of Portland. She was later found dead.

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire declared a state of emergency, authorizing the use of National Guard troops if necessary.

On the icy interstate north of Seattle, a transportation department worker responding to an accident was injured in crash. He was taken to a Seattle hospital; no details were available on his condition or how he was injured.

Freezing rain and ice pellets caused numerous accidents in the Seattle area, where drivers are mostly inexperienced with driving in snow or ice. The last widespread freezing rain in Seattle was in December 1996. Read More