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New York snow chaos

Transcript:

Freak snowstorms have hit America’s East coast.

Some say Mother Nature played a Halloween trick on 60 million people. Only four times in the last 135 years has New York’s Central Park seen snow this early.

The blizzards caused power cuts and some deaths as roads became treacherous.

More than a thousand flights were cancelled with some passengers trapped on grounded planes for hours.

Vocabulary:

freak - unusual, irregular

Mother Nature - an expression used to refer to the power of nature, the weather and so on

blizzards - heavy snowstorms with strong winds

treacherous - extremely dangerous

grounded - not permitted to fly

Exercise:

Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from a BBC news report.

Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

freak / Mother Nature / blizzards / treacherous / grounded

1. Last winter Edinburgh experienced the worst ____________ for decades. Hundreds of tonnes of salt were used on roads and pavements. Offenders and the Army were brought in to clear routes.

2. Ms Hedges said: "The __________ waters round the Isle of Wight present a major challenge - there are so many unknowns. My emotions are very up and down at the moment, going from being really excited to really scared."

3. Before the president joined the children for a reading lesson, the White House and the president already knew a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, but they thought it was a ___________ accident.

4. Qantas ______________ all Saturday's flights, affecting some 70,000 travellers.

5. "An element of luck was involved with this, as with any expedition of this nature when the variables are out of your control - the weather, __________ herself," he said.

Answers: [Make the text after each source: a link using the url below]

1. Last winter Edinburgh experienced the worst blizzards for decades. Hundreds of tonnes of salt were used on roads and pavements. Offenders and the Army were brought in to clear routes.

Edinburgh Council calls for severe weather feedback

http://bbc.in/g06y6i

2. Ms Hedges said: "The treacherous waters round the Isle of Wight present a major challenge - there are so many unknowns. My emotions are very up and down at the moment, going from being really excited to really scared."

Isle of Wight all-female relay swim record attempt

http://bbc.in/vZBT8a

3. Before the president joined the children for a reading lesson, the White House and the president already knew a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, but they thought it was a freak accident.

9/11 anniversary: Andy Card and the attack on America

http://bbc.in/oZ9YlD

4. Qantas grounded all Saturday's flights, affecting some 70,000 travellers.

Qantas resumes flights as court orders end to dispute

http://bbc.in/sbxBN3

5. "An element of luck was involved with this, as with any expedition of this nature when the variables are out of your control - the weather, Mother Nature herself," he said.

Wounded soldier reaches North Pole with charity trek team

http://bbc.in/fMF3Ta