Friday, February 3, 2023

17 people are reported dead in the winter storm before Christmas in the US

NY. A strong winter storm that brought heavy snowfall and polar winds to the United States this Saturday left at least 17 people dead, 1.7 million people without power and thousands of travelers stranded by canceled flights hours before Christmas.

Officials confirmed at least 17 storm-related deaths in eight states. Heavy snow, hurricane-force winds and dangerously cold temperatures kept much of the country, including the normally temperate South, frozen for a third straight day on Saturday.

This “bomb cyclone”, a storm defined by the National Weather Service (NWS) as “once in a generation”, caused the cancellation of more than 2,300 flights this Saturday and the delay of 5 1,300, a day after nearly 6,000 takeoffs . Canceled according to the exclusive website FlightAware.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted on Saturday that “the most extreme disruptions are behind us as airline and airport operations slowly recover.”

Many travelers stranded at airports in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit and New York are hoping for a Christmas miracle that will allow them to arrive in time for the festivities.

This is the case of Zack Cuyler, 35, who, after two cancellations of his flight to Houston, will be forced to spend Christmas Eve with friends in New York, where he will meet his family.

Although he confessed to being “quite overwhelmed” by these postponements, he anticipated that he would be able to visit loved ones on Sunday, Christmas Day afternoon. “I’m grateful for that,” he said. AFP,

According to the site Poweroutage.us, the states most affected by power outages were North Carolina, Maine and Tennessee, where thermometers mostly marked temperatures below freezing.

“hundreds” of people trapped

In many states, roads have become impassable or very dangerous, leading to fatal accidents.

Governor Mike DeWine said four people died in storm-related accidents in Ohio.

In New York State, Governor Cathy Hochul deployed the National Guard to Erie County and its main city of Buffalo, where officials said emergency services collapsed in the extreme blizzard conditions.

A travel ban was issued in the region a day earlier. “There are probably hundreds of people trapped in their vehicles, including people who tried to get out late last night,” Erie County Administrator Mark Poloncarz said Saturday. He said two people died due to medical problems as they could not be saved.

“Don’t leave your vehicle!” tweeted local weather services. He recommends, “Tie a piece of clothing over your antenna or window to indicate that you need help.”

Snow on the roads also caused major road closures, including cross-country Interstate 70, sections of which were closed in Colorado and Kansas.

In cities such as Denver or Chicago, shelters have opened to welcome those in need, warm them and protect them from the risk of hypothermia.

set in minutes

The NWS said the storm is expected to last through the weekend before temperatures return to normal in the middle of next week.

This type of storm is caused by a “low pressure bomb”, a collision between two air masses, one very cold from the Arctic and the other tropical from the Gulf of Mexico, as atmospheric pressure drops very rapidly in less than 24 hours. goes. hours. ,

Until then, “if you must travel or be outside, prepare for extreme cold by wearing multiple layers of clothing and covering as much skin as possible,” Seva wrote on Saturday. “In some places, frostbite can occur within minutes of being outside.”

Strong winds gusting over 95 km/h are expected, with further damage including trees falling on power lines.

Canada was also affected by the storm and weather alerts were in place in all provinces.

Hundreds of thousands of people lost power in Ontario and Quebec, and airports in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal were affected by flight cancellations.

Passengers on several stalled trains in Ontario reported being in a compartment for up to 18 hours due to extreme weather conditions.

Nation World News Desk
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