US & Canada

Seattle struggles with unusually heavy snow

People on top of hill with Seattle Space Needle visible in background Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Some residents, and their pets, have been taking advantage of conditions

Parts of the US Pacific Northwest are being covered with unusually high levels of snow.

The region, more used to rain than icy conditions, has been hit by a series of wintry storm systems.

The National Weather Service says parts of Seattle have received more than 10.6in (27cm) of snow so far this February - the highest amount in 70 years.

Forecasters have warned of more to come on Sunday and Monday.

Gas Works Park Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In the city's Gas Works Park, it was not just sledges being ridden
A group of people fly down a hill, overlooking city skyline, on a unicorn float Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A giant inflatable unicorn pool floor carried several people down the steep hill

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled at Washington's Seattle-Tacoma and Portland International airports in recent days.

A boy tries to jump up a mound while sledding Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A boy is photographed sledding in the city's Phinney Ridge neighbourhood
People sledge down a road Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The neighbourhood's snow-covered roads were transformed by some residents into a wintry playground

Washington's Governor, Jay Inslee, declared an emergency across the state on Friday.

He has encouraged residents to stay off the roads. Seattle police have been trying to house the city's homeless in shelters.

A postman, wrapped up, walks through snow in one community Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Despite conditions, notoriously resilient US postal service workers remained out in Seattle on Friday

About 50,000 residents are said to have lost power across the state, US media report.

More central areas of Washington state have been inundated with snow drifts of up to 3-4ft (1m-1.2m) in places, the Associated Press reports.

A sign says a shop is sold out of salt, snow shovels and sleds Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption More used to rain, residents have been scrambling for winter materials
An almost-empty grocery shelf Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Seattle's grocery stores have been photographed scarce in essentials

Recent cold weather and snow has been affecting other states too.

More than 120 people were rescued on Thursday from a Sierra Nevada, California, resort after being trapped by snow for five days. Sprinklings of snowfall have even been reported in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Because of how unprepared Seattle was for recent weather, some have jokingly labelled the recent storms as Seattle's "Snowpocalypse" or "Snowmageddon" on social media.

Residents from elsewhere in the state, and further afield in the US, have been mocking them for not being able to cope with conditions.

All photographs copyright to Getty Images.

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