Monday, February 6, 2023

Biggest winter storm in 40 years paralyzes the US and kills at least a dozen people

WASHINGTON, DC – A rare winter storm hit the United States on Friday, closing roads and airports across much of the country, leaving more than 240 million people affected by weather warnings.

A large number of states recorded freezing temperatures today as the severe storm, known as a bomb cyclone, left millions of homes without power and stranded thousands of commuters.

The event, caused by an arctic air front, would be responsible for the country experiencing its coldest Christmas since the 1980s.

Nearly 10 people have died on the roads since the storms began in the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Ohio. Countless accidents have been recorded on the highway amid the historic winter storm.

dilapidated roads
In other places such as Chicago, Illinois, or Nashville, Tennessee, roads were closed for hours as temperatures dropped, rain turned to snow and the wind turned to blizzards.

Thursday was the second coldest day on record in Denver, Colorado: The average temperature was minus 26 degrees Celsius.

Transportation problems also affected train and bus companies such as Greyhound, the largest of which has already warned that many routes in the Northeast or Midwest could be canceled or changed. More than one lakh homes do not have electricity

More than 1.4 million homes or offices were without power this Friday, especially in North and South Carolina, Connecticut and Texas, according to the specialized site, while nearly 5,300 flights were canceled on Friday and another 4,500 the day before. Had gone

Another 5,900 were postponed, according to the Flight Aware site. The most affected airports were in Seattle (Northwest), New York, Chicago (North) and Detroit. The National Weather Service (NWS) said the conditions were very dangerous for traffic.

Millions of people were expected to hit the streets and board flights for the Christmas and New Year holidays, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels of mobility.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), about 112 million people planned to drive at least 80 kilometers between December 23 and January 2.

Several states have declared states of emergency, including New York, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Georgia and North Carolina. “People should stay home, not venture out on the streets,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told CNN.

“Blizzard conditions can develop very quickly,” he said, noting that the National Guard has been deployed to the state. Beshear confirmed three deaths on Kentucky roads.

In Oklahoma, at least two people died along the route, according to the agency in charge of emergency management in that state.

In El Paso, Texas, desperate migrants from Mexico flocked to churches, schools and a civic center trying to warm themselves, Rosa Falcone, a school teacher and volunteer, told AFP. But some chose to stay outside in minus 9 temperatures because they feared immigration officials, he said.

In Chicago, Burke Patton of Night Ministry, a non-profit organization, recalled its members’ efforts to provide “coats, hats, gloves, thermal underwear, blankets and sleeping bags, as well as hand and foot gloves” to homeless people . Heavy snow fell in the north of the country, especially in the Great Lakes region.

But the event extends from the Canadian border in the north to the Mexican border in the south, and from the Pacific coast in the northwest to the Atlantic coast in the east, US meteorologists said.

This low pressure system causes a strong collision between a mass of very cold air coming from the Arctic and tropical air coming from the Gulf of Mexico. What makes the current situation extraordinary is that the atmospheric pressure decreased very rapidly in less than 24 hours.

subzero thermometer
In New York, while the temperature was still hovering around 10°C on Friday morning, it was expected to drop to -10°C by night. In Chicago, the temperature was minus 20 degrees on Friday morning, and temperatures were negative as far up the Texas coast.

Canada was also bracing for unusually low temperatures for the season.

According to Environment Canada, warnings of extreme cold, winter storms and even blizzards were issued for much of Canada on Friday.

Temperatures ranged from -40 to -50 degrees in Alberta (Western Canada) and Saskatchewan (Central).



Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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