In case you missed it: Couple survives 5-day nightmare stranded in snow; Over 100 seek refuge in UK pub amid rare snowstorm

By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather staff writer
February 08, 2019, 11:08:13 AM EST


A major storm pummeled the West Coast this week, slamming the region with snow, rain and ice last weekend and into the start of this week.

The most significant Pacific storm of the year so far turned deadly. One person died in a car crash, and five were killed in a plane crash.

seattle snow

Children sled down one of Seattle's steeper hills and in view of downtown and the Space Needle, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. Western Washington was hit by a major winter storm, with several inches of snow, cold temperatures and bone-chilling winds overnight and into the day Monday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)


A member of the Ventura County search-and-rescue team was killed, and nine other people were injured in a car crash on Saturday morning amid heavy rain near Pyramid Lake.

On Sunday afternoon, five people died when a small plane crashed into a home shortly after taking off from Fullerton Municipal Airport, according to the AP.

Heavy rain was falling at takeoff, the airport said. A general 1-3 inches of rain fell across the state, with localized amounts in excess of 5 inches.

Ahead of the storm, evacuations were ordered or recommended for communities at a high risk for debris flows and mudslides due to recent wildfires.

Stretches of Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County and the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu were closed due to high water, mud and debris over the road.

A young couple were stuck in their car for five days in intense California mountain snow after a camping trip went awry last week.

According to ABC News, Maia Herman-Kitami (18) and Carlos Hernandez (21) drank melted snow, rationed their food and huddled in their Jeep after being stuck in the snow, unable to dig their way out.

They were on a snow camping trip and decided to venture farther into Mendocino National Forest in Northern California, unaware of the conditions they would encounter.

california snow

This Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 photo provided by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) shows snow clearing vehicles attempting to clear several feet of snow from California State Route 2, the Angeles Crest Highway, at 6,000 feet elevation in the San Gabriel Mountains above Montrose in Southern California. (CalTrans District 7 via AP)


A group of snowmobilers came to their rescue after they honked their horn to get their attention. The snowmobilers had been searching for the couple after hearing desperate pleas from the couple's families.

In Seattle, heavy snow on Monday created a messy commute as up to 10 inches fell in some areas. Snow hits Seattle between two and three times a year on average.

Schools and businesses throughout the area closed due to the treacherous conditions. Roads were shut down due to unsafe driving conditions.

Numerous spinouts were reported.


In other snow news this week, a cat in Montana fully recovered after being frozen in a snowbank, a man and his dog in Michigan had to be rescued from icy water on what was supposed to be a normal walk and a father delivered his own baby after his wife went into labor on an icy road in Wisconsin.

After brutal cold hit the Midwest and eastern U.S. last week, a major temperature swing followed.

What was formerly frozen rivers, streams and lakes turned into potential flooding as the ice started to break up. In Portland, Michigan, rising water levels flooded some basements and forced people to evacuate their homes.

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A rare snow fell in London and the south of England late last week, coating roadways and stranding people in a pub.

In Cornwall, more than 100 people sought overnight refuge in a pub after abandoning their snow-bound vehicles on a nearby stretch of motorway. While all of the rooms were full, donations of mattresses, blankets and pillows allowed many extra guests to spend the night.

"A lot of people have abandoned their cars. Some of them have walked a good three, four or five miles. People were fed up of being in a cold car," Sammy Wheeler, the pub's general manager, said.

Elsewhere, millions woke up on Friday to a rare snow day.

Severe, deadly flooding has overwhelmed parts of Australia, resulting in $80 million in damage in Queensland.

The area was hit with days of record-setting rainfall, widespread flooding, road closures and evacuations. The flooding turned deadly on Monday when two bodies were found in an Aitkenvale storm water drain, according to News9.

At least 20,000 homes were impacted.

A dry spell came to an end in Dehli, India, this week when severe storms pummeled the region with hail.

The hail piled up and almost looked like a blanket of snow.

"Hailstorms are not rare for Delhi, but their occurrence is infrequent," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.

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Few things reflect the power of nature and weather like avalanches. This week host, Regina Miller talks to Director, Mark Staples of the Utah Avalanche Center, and Dan Burnett, Group Mission Coordinator for the Summit County Rescue Group in Breckenridge, Colorado. They discuss recent deaths on the slopes, the weather situations that can contribute to an avalanche, the dangers of human interaction, and how best to survive.

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