Canceled flights, snowy roads, postponed campaign meetings… A winter storm sowed chaos on Friday, January 12, in the American state of Iowa, three days before the first electoral meeting of the year for the Republicans.

On January 15, this Midwestern state is set to launch the big primaries, of which Donald Trump is the big favorite… if voters can travel to vote. Because the entire state is being swept by a cold wave that the American authorities themselves have described as “dangerous”.

In the capital, Des Moines, where snow fell all day, few vehicles took their chances on the slippery roads. Dozens of cars and trucks were overturned on the road. Wind gusts of more than 50 km/h are forecast overnight and the mercury, which is at −9°C, is expected to drop by another ten to twenty degrees over the next few days.

Most of the flights, supposed to bring in thousands of journalists, activists and campaign volunteers who came to attend the first major meeting of the American presidential election, were canceled or redirected to neighboring states.

Trump wants everything done to “make it easier to vote”

How can you campaign in these conditions? The question obsesses Republican candidates, who are forced to cancel or postpone their events. Among them, the former United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, preferred to switch all her meetings planned on the ground online.

“We are not afraid of the snow,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who made a detour to his campaign HQ early in the afternoon, unable to go to the meeting voters.

The forty-year-old, who is currently in third place in the Republican polls, still hopes to be able to reduce the dizzying lead enjoyed by the favorite, Donald Trump.

The former president also has to deal with the chaos caused by the storm: several of his meetings were canceled on Saturday across the state. Four times criminally indicted, the billionaire is counting on a resounding victory in Iowa to quickly be designated as the Republican candidate against Joe Biden in November. Those around him are urging local authorities to do everything to “facilitate the conduct of the vote” on Monday evening.

The storm is expected to intensify

Beyond Iowa, much of the country has been hit in recent days by heavy rain and snow brought by a winter storm that left several dead and deprived hundreds of thousands of homes of electricity. “Every state is on yellow, orange or red alert,” the national weather service, the NWS, warned on X.

The storm is expected to intensify across the country, with snow across the Midwest and severe thunderstorms in the South.

A Chicago (Illinois) airport was closed Friday morning due to snow and ice, hundreds of flights were canceled throughout the region.