“Icy roads were blamed for the deaths of at least 18 people, many of them in Nebraska and Kansas. Some 100 flights leaving Minneapolis were cancelled. The US weather service said the storm was spanning two-thirds of the country. It advised against non-essential travel and scores of churches cancelled Christmas services. Up to 2ft (60cm) of snow was possible in some areas by Christmas Day (Friday), forecasters said. Scott Blair, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Topeka, Kansas, said the wind was becoming a serious issue in the central part of that state, with gusts reaching 40mph (64km/h). ‘We're going to see blowing snow,’ he said. ‘The big concern comes later when we see snowfall with the wind, causing reduced visibility.’ The US East Coast is still recovering from record snowfall last weekend, which brought much of the capital Washington DC to a standstill. The new storm is expected to glaze highways in the east with ice over Christmas, the Associated Press reports.”