Winter storms continue to batter the central United States, killing at least 49 people. Since last Friday, waves of freezing rain, sleet and snow have hit swathes of the country from Texas to Maine. The extreme weather has downed trees, traffic lights and power lines and blocked roads. About four hundred and fifty thousand homes and businesses are still without electricity.
The White House has declared Missouri and Oklahoma major disaster areas, making federal funding available. Even normally sunny California has experienced record low temperatures – destroying three quarters of its citrus crop. The National Weather Service says the conditions are the result of a very large cold front. Forecasters say the storms and freezing temperatures will continue in some regions into Wednesday night.