At least 4 dead as 1,400-mile-long snowstorm heads east

Monster snowstorm to blanket more than half of United States

The storm is headed east, where it's expected to blanket Washington and Baltimore, forecasters said. Video from St. Louis affiliate station KTVI shows sledders and even kayakers sliding down the snow and making snowmen in parks and yards.

By late morning Saturday, officials had reported almost 11 inches of snow at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, where most flights were canceled or delayed.

The Weather Channel reported that almost 500 weather-related motor vehicle accidents had been reported in Missouri.

Washington, where many federal government offices are closed due to the USA government shutdown, is expected to receive 15 cm to 20 cm of snow from this storm, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm began to spread east into the Mid-Atlantic region, with between 5 and 10 inches (13 to 25 centimetre's) of snow expected in the Washington area, including parts of northern and central Maryland, by Sunday. "For many areas, this will be a long-duration winter storm that lasts more than 12 hours and perhaps as long as 24 hours in some cases", said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. Parts of the state had received up to 15 inches of snow by that point.

There is a small chance that the southern Appalachians get enough freezing rain and sleet to turn into an ice event Saturday into Sunday.

And in IN snow accumulations of 5 to 7 inches are expected between midnight Friday and 7 a.m. Sunday in portions of central, south central, southeastern, southwestern and west central Indiana.

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More heavy rain also will fall on the saturated South.

The weather system is forecast to affect an 1,800-mile corridor of the United States from Colorado to the mid-Atlantic.

The Southeast has seen abundant precipitation in December and January, and the additional rain could put a strain on rivers already high.

In Kansas City, snow dusted the field at Arrowhead Stadium during Saturday's National Football League playoff game between the hometown Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts.

The Missouri Department of Transportation warned residents not to travel in the storm if it wasn't necessary. But it cited progress Saturday morning as crews worked to clear routes and bring "water and food to stranded motorists". But the patrol still encouraged people to stay off the roads. "More cancellations are likely on Saturday and Sunday", airport officials said.

Some 250 flights were canceled in the U.S.as of Saturday morning.

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