US weather: Chaos as 50 cars smashed in crashes

Wild weather is causing chaos in the United States, with 50 cars smashed up on one highway alone.

The US has been gripped by a “once in a generation” storm that could lead to the coldest Christmas in decades.

In the state of Ohio the freezing weather is already claiming victims, with one dead and multiple people injured after 50 cars crashed as motorists hit the roads for the Christmas holiday on Friday (local time).

A massive pileup occurred on the Ohio Turnpike, The US Sun reports.

Photos from the scene showed several vehicles, including tractor-trailers, smashed against one another on the icy highway.

One picture appeared to show a black pick-up truck on top of a blue truck.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said at least two people sustained non-life-threatening injuries, while several others are believed to have also been hurt.

The immense crash came hours after state officials issued a full travel ban for high-profile vehicles – which covers the entire 241-mile Ohio Turnpike – due to the “bomb cyclone”.

The travel ban went into effect at 6am on Friday and will remain in place until 8am Sunday.

Due to the high winds and snowy conditions across the Midwest, all high-profile tow-behind trailers, campers, boats and enclosed trailers were banned on the turnpike.

All mobile homes, office trailers and livestock trailers were also prohibited.

Any long combination vehicles (LCV) that include long double-trailer combinations exceeding 27 metres in length and all LCV triple-trailer combinations were also banned.

Officials have begun closing the turnpike’s eastbound lane by exit 91 and will divert traffic away from there.

They will also close it at exit 110 to help first responders clear the pileup.

“This is going to be ongoing for a while,” an OSHP spokesman told ABC 13.

“There are a lot of troopers and first responders out there working through this.”

‘Bomb cyclone’

A “once in a generation” winter event is battering over 30 states across the US with sub-freezing temperatures, heavy snow and powerful winds.

The “bomb cyclone” event is expected to linger around until Christmas.

On Friday, more than one million Americans woke up without power, and thousands of flights were grounded across several airports.

Officials in Texas and Kentucky have recorded at least four people have died due to the extreme conditions.

On the roads, some areas have seen drifts of more than 3 metres.

The National Weather Service in Minnesota said: “This event could be life-threatening if you are stranded.”

The bad weather has already left two-thirds of the country under extreme weather alerts.

“This is not like a snow day when you were a kid,” President Joe Biden warned Thursday.

He added: “This is serious stuff.”

Cranky weather reporter

Meanwhile, a US TV sports anchor in Iowa is going viral for his hilarious on-air complaining about being forced to get up in the early hours to cover the “bomb cyclone” — at one point grousing about how “the outdoors currently is not heated,” the New York Post reports.

“This is what you get when you ask the sports guy to come in to cover a blizzard in the morning show,” KWWL’s Mark Woodley tweeted alongside a clip of his sarcasm-filled performance viewed more than 5 million times by Friday.

His cranky commentary in the early hours Thursday started when a host in the warm, dry studio in Waterloo asked: “Mark, how you feeling out there?”

“Again, the same way I felt about eight minutes ago when he asked me that same question,” Woodley replied, his voice dripping with displeasure at having to pretend to be a good sport outside in the cold.

“I didn’t even realise that there was a 3:30 also in the morning until today,” he quipped — noting he also usually worked from the comfort of the studio.

Woodley acknowledged that he couldn’t do his usual gig in the warm studio covering sports because “everything is cancelled here for the next couple of days.”

“So what better time to ask the sports guy to come in about five hours earlier than he would normally wake up, go stand out in the wind and the snow and the cold and tell other people not to do the same,” he said.

“Tune in for the next couple of hours to watch me progressively get crankier and crankier,” he warned.

“Can I go back to my regular job?” he asked at one point, suggesting his colleagues “added an extra hour to this show just because somebody likes torturing me.”

“It is just getting colder and colder,” he said, quipping how “the outdoors currently is not heated.”

At one point, he gave viewers good news and bad news.

“The good news is that I can still feel my face right now. The bad news is I kind of wish I couldn’t,” he said.

Many of the 5 million who viewed his tweeted video suggested that his hilarious performance could end up backfiring in the very way he wanted to avoid.

“Big mistake, Woodley. You shouldn’t have been so good at this,” fellow TV sports reporter Grant Galarneau-Becker told him, while another, Kyle Clark, said: “This is a masterpiece. Welcome to your new job.”

Fox sports writer Sam Amico told him that “perhaps sadly for you, you have now become far and away my favourite weather reporter.”

Iowa sports reporter Owen Siebring, meanwhile, complained that he had “no idea how hard you’re making the rest of our jobs.”

“Now every news director wants their sports reporter to go out into the cold, in hopes of going viral,” he wrote.

With The US Sun and the New York Post

Read related topics:Weather

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