UK & World News

  • 10 February 2014, 3:07

Little Red River: Person Jumped Into Icy River

A major search has been launched for a person after they were forced to jump from a bridge in Arkansas to avoid a truck skidding in freezing weather.

The hunt in Little Red River was due to resume on Sunday after being called off around 6pm yesterday as temperatures that have led to power cuts in the east US remain low.

Police said three people were outside their vehicles after an earlier accident on a bridge over the ridge when a truck jackknifed and slid toward them in temperatures of -2C (29F) .

Two leapt over the guardrail and into the water to escape from the sliding 18-wheeler, but one was later recovered without injury.

A mass of cold weather covers the north and Mid West as far south as north Texas, with only the most southerly states recording night time mercury readings of above 0C (32F).

On Thursday, the average national temperature fell to just -11C (11F).

Among the worst affected areas were Pennsylvania and Maryland where 325,000 homes were left without power on Saturday as a result of an ice storm.

Utility firms were frantically working on Sunday morning to reconnect the remaining 65,000 customers in Pennsylvania cut off by downed trees and power lines.

At one point during the storm on Friday, nearly a million customers lost power.

Thousands have been forced to seek shelter in emergency 'warming' stations set up to help those without power. Others have chosen to stay, afraid that looters may raid their homes while they are away.

Amtrak, meanwhile, says full service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg is due to being restored when tracks are cleared of fallen trees and debris, but passengers may see delays.

Experts say the long spell of freezing weather that has been affecting much of the country is a result of a jet stream that has been running much further south than in normal years, dragging cold air from Canada.

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