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Eight people have died as "Snowzilla" hits the US

There is expected to be two feet of snow in Washington DC.
Jan 23rd 2016, 9:25 AM 27,764 17

Big Snowstorm Source: AP/Press Association Images

A DEADLY BLIZZARD with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US this morning as officials urged millions in the storm’s path to seek shelter, warning the worst is yet to come.

US news reports said at least eight people had died by late yesterday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early tomorrow.

Forecasters predict the storm could dump more than two feet of snow in Washington DC and the surrounding area by late today, bringing life to a wintry halt as residents ride out the rough weather.

“The real teeth of this #winterstorm will be after midnight thru early Sat afternoon. Heavy snow, increasing winds, lightning threat,” the National Weather Service (NWS) tweeted.

Big Snowstorm New Jersey Traffic creeps along during a snowstorm in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Source: AP/Press Association Images

A blizzard warning was in effect for a large swathe of the eastern United States from Washington up to New York.

The storm is expected to affect about 85 million Americans — about one quarter of the inhabitants of the United States. Before it’s all over, it could cause more than $1 billion (€920 million) in damage, NWS officials said.

Several southern states, meanwhile, were already hit by snow and sleet – unusual for the region – with tens of thousands without power.

Frantic shoppers emptied grocery store shelves in preparation for the storm, dubbed “Snowzilla” by some US media, and schools and government offices in Washington were all closed.

“I think it’s going to be a disaster,” Sharonda Brown, a nurse, said as she waited for an Uber car with a full cart of groceries at a Washington supermarket stormed by shoppers.

Big Snowstorm Georgia Snow flurries in Atlanta. Source: David Goldman

Winds were expected to pick up overnight, prompting Washington’s police chief Cathy Lanier to urge residents to stay indoors.

“With the increasing winds and increasing snow accumulation, now we’re going to see more and more people stranded,” she told CNN.

Crews were out clearing the roads throughout the US capital, while others turned to shovels.

Among them was 28-year-old William Duren, who was clearing a sidewalk outside a downtown Washington hotel.

Big Snowstorm Kentucky Snow hit Lexington, Kentucky. Source: AP/Press Association Images

“Usually when we see snow in the forecast, it turns out to be only an inch or so. They always exaggerate on TV,” he said, before adding that this time, the forecasters appeared to be right.

“It’s a doozy,” Duren said.

© – AFP 2016

Read: Millions brace themselves for worst US snow storm in decades

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