Deadly winter storm delays travel in U.S. Midwest, Northeast

Weather conditions for winter storm 2-6-18 National Weather Service

(Reuters) – A winter storm will dump snow and freezing rain on the U.S. Midwest and the Northeast beginning on Tuesday after it caused several deaths as it snarled highways and spurred the cancellation of hundreds of flights at Chicago’s main airport.

The National Weather Service warned commuters in northern Texas, east through southern Illinois and Indiana, and New York and Massachusetts, to watch for icy road conditions, wind gusts and reduced visibility throughout the day and into Wednesday.

“The ice and snow will result in difficult travel conditions,” the NWS said in an advisory. “Motorists are strongly urged to slow down and allow plenty of time to reach their destinations.”

Winds of 40-miles an hour(65 kph) and as much as 4 inches (10 cm) of snow are expected across the affected regions, with parts of New York and Vermont getting as much as a foot of snow, the NWS said.

The storm was responsible for the death of six people on Monday in crashes throughout Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported.

Two people also died in southwest Missouri and more than 70 others were injured after icy roads caused a high number of crashes, the Springfield News-Leader reported.

At Chicago’s busy O’Hare International Airport, the storm caused the cancellation of more than 460 flights, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Windy rainstorm whips U.S. Northeast, cutting power to hundreds of thousands

Storm Summary has been initialized for the deep low pressure system which is bringing damaging winds, heavy rain across the Northeast, even some snow over West Virginia.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fierce winds and heavy rain downed trees and knocked out power across the U.S. Northeast, halting trains during the Monday morning commute and leaving neighborhoods from Boston to Washington in the dark.

Wind gusts of 82 miles (131.97 km) per hour were reported on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, while steady rain from Sunday into Monday dumped up to 4 inches (10.16 cm) of water across New England, said National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Chenard.

“There has been quite a bit of wind, and when the ground gets wet like this, trees fall,” Chenard said.

Amtrak train service between Boston and New Haven, Connecticut, was suspended early on Monday as crews scrambled to clear branches and restore power, authorities said.

Connecticut commuters piled onto buses or sought alternative routes after Metro-North Railroad suspended service on its New Canaan line and on its Danbury line, which it said on Twitter was hampered by a mudslide and related signal problems.

More than 800,000 homes and businesses lost electricity overnight throughout the Northeast, including about 300,000 customers in Massachusetts, 270,000 in New Hampshire, 142,000 in Rhode Island, 30,000 on New York’s Long Island, 56,000 in Maine and 35,000 in Vermont, according to local media.

Early on Monday, traffic lights in parts of Washington remained dark due to power outages.

The storm hit the East Coast on the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. That late-season hurricane killed at least 159 people in New York, New Jersey and other parts of the East Coast on Oct. 29, 2012, and damaged or destroyed more than 650,000 homes.

The National Weather Service said the heaviest rains and winds ended late on Monday morning, but lighter precipitation and some gusts would persist throughout the day.

“The biggest potential now is for more trees to come down and for minor-to-moderate river flooding in eastern New York and much of New England today into tomorrow,” Chenard said.

It was not immediately known how long it would be until power is fully restored.


(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)


Vermont Man Sues Over Being Forced To Fund Abortion

A Vermont man is suing the state over being forced to buy insurance that includes a surcharge to fund abortion coverage.

Alan Howe, 63, filed suit against the state and federal government after the discovery that all health care plans in Vermont required a dollar per month to cover abortions.

“No one actually discloses to you that you are paying this separate abortion fee because they just roll it into the general premium, but everyone in Vermont is being required to pay this separate abortion fee in order to enroll in a plan,” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Casey Mattox told reporters.

“That’s the case in Vermont and a few other states,” he outlined to OneNewsNow. “And people aren’t even aware that that’s the case that they’re being forced to pay for abortions in violation of their conscience.”

An attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice told a judge that the Obama administration had asked insurance providers to waive the surcharge for Mr. Howe but that all insurance companies refused to provide a waiver.

U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss is expected to make a decision in the next 30 days while negotiations are continuing to get the abortion requirement removed.  All states must offer at least one plan without abortion coverage by 2017.

Vermont Governor Praises Abortionist Planned Parenthood

The governor of Vermont has nothing but praise for an organization that kills tens of thousands of children every year.

Governor Peter Shumlin said that all residents of Vermont should feel “blessed” to have the “extraordinary work” of the organization in their state.  Vermont is the only state in the nation where you can kill your baby via abortion during all nine months of pregnancy.

“Vermont is unusual. We should be blessed to live here with a Planned Parenthood that does extraordinary work, and a legislature that will stand behind you,” he said. “Let’s make Vermont an example for how this nation should deal with health care and reproductive rights.”

Planned Parenthood has 11 facilities in the state and receives $1.8 million dollars a year in Title X family planning funds.

Those standing for the lives of unborn children say that Planned Parenthood has an undue amount of influence of state politics.

“Sometimes we refer to them here in Vermont as the fourth branch of government,” Mary Hahn Beerworth of Vermont Right To Life said. “In 2010, when Peter Shumlin ran for governor for the first time, Planned Parenthood illegally raised and spent over $100,000 to run television ads that may well have made the difference in the election [as] they were run in the last few weeks. Most recently, our attorney general fined them $30,000 when he found them in violation of the law.”