Saturday, January 28, 2023

Prolonged winter storm causes power outages, travel disruption and freezing temperatures on Christmas Day

(CNN) — Dangerously cold winds continued across much of the United States on Christmas morning after a nearly week-long winter storm dropped temperatures to life-threatening levels, brought blizzards and coastal flooding, and left hundreds of thousands dead. Homes and businesses lost power.

Blizzard conditions persisted in the Great Lakes on Sunday, as the eastern two-thirds of the country experienced severe cold snaps, with some large cities in the Southeast, Midwest and East Coast recording their coldest Christmas in decades.

More than 55 million people are under cold wind warnings this Sunday morning, and frost warnings in the south of the country.

Temperatures are expected to rise towards the end of the week, a welcome upward trend and above normal temperatures.

Many Floridians will experience their coldest Christmas yet: It will be the coldest December 25 since 1983 in Miami, Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach.

New York City posted record coldest temperatures on Christmas Eve, including JFK and LaGuardia airports. The maximum temperature in Central Park was −9 °C, making December 24 the second coldest day in at least 150 years. National Meteorological Service,

Winter storm kills dozens across the country

At least 37 deaths have been attributed to dangerous weather conditions since Wednesday, with some residents in the Northeast spending the holidays without adequate heat or hot water as the bitterly cold weather persisted.

New York – 17: According to Erie County Executive Mark Polonkarz, 16 people died as a result of the winter storm in Erie County. According to the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, one more person died in Niagara County.

Colorado – 2: Police reported two weather-related deaths in Colorado Springs.

WISCONSIN – 1: The Wisconsin State Patrol reported a fatal accident last Thursday due to the winter weather.

Tennessee – 1: The Tennessee Department of Health confirmed one death related to the winter storm on Friday.

OHIO – 9: Four people died in a crash on the Ohio Turnpike Friday “as the result of weather-related auto accidents,” Governor Mike DeWine said. The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) confirmed that four other people died in a weather-related crash on I-75 on Saturday. Another person died in a weather-related accident in Crawford County, according to OSHP.

Kentucky – 3: Three people have died in the state. Gov. Andy Beshear announced the two deaths Friday morning. One more death was confirmed in Montgomery County due to a car crash.

KANSAS – 4: Three people have died in weather-related traffic accidents, the Kansas Highway Patrol told CNN on Friday.

MISSOURI – 1: First responders from the Kansas City Police Department say one person has died after their camper skidded off an icy driveway and into a frozen creek.

power cut

According to, about 175,000 US homes and businesses were without power as of 8:30 a.m., many of them in Maine and New York. Since the start of the storm, the number of outages has exceeded one million customers at various times.

A power grid operator in at least 13 states in the eastern part of the country asked customers to save energy and set thermostats lower than usual from Saturday morning to 10 a.m. Sunday because its use was straining capacity.

The operator, PJM Interconnection, serves approximately 65 million people in all or part of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Is. , and warned that blackouts could occur if the load was excessive.

In New York, utilities Con Edison and Natural Grid US also urged customers to save power, citing inclement weather conditions and increased power demand on interstate pipelines carrying natural gas into the city.

Meanwhile, power shortages in Texas prompted the US Department of Energy to declare a state of emergency on Friday, allowing the state’s power provider to exceed environmental emissions standards until electricity use declines.

In Jackson, Mississippi, freezing temperatures were hampering efforts to repair a major water main break late Saturday, city officials said, reducing water pressure for residents.

“We are very grateful to the staff who brave these freezing temperatures this Christmas Eve as they work to restore pressure on residents. Their sacrifice does not go unnoticed and not only this This is appreciated by the administration but also by all the affected residents.” said in the statement.

flight cancellation

The inclement weather conditions have made travel difficult even over the busy holiday weekend, with more than 5,000 flights canceled on Friday, more than 3,400 on Saturday and more than 1,350 for Christmas Day .

Road conditions were no better in some parts of the country, with blizzard conditions and roads covered with snow and ice.

In New York’s Erie County, where the blizzard has hit, nearly 500 motorists were trapped in their vehicles between Friday night and Saturday morning despite the county’s ban on driving during the storm, according to County Executive Mark Polonkarz .

Polonkarz said that National Guard troops had been called in to help “rescue people trapped in vehicles” and transport medical workers to relieve colleagues working in hospitals for more than a day.

According to the National Weather Service, Buffalo, located in Erie County, measured 43 inches of snow as of 8:45 a.m. Sunday.

Snow falls on a vehicle on December 24, 2022 in Hamburg, New York. (Photo: John Normile/Getty Images)

What to expect as the storm gradually weakens and dangerous conditions persist

Strong winds behind an Arctic cold front that moved through this week will produce lake-effect snow and blizzard conditions at times across parts of the Great Lakes this Sunday.

Blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings, and winter weather advisories cover the upper Midwest, Great Lakes region, and the Ohio Valley.

An additional 8 to 16 inches of lake effect snow is possible.

The storm system is expected to gradually weaken as it moves across southeastern Canada, moving slowly over the next few days and pulling arctic Canadian air down into the eastern half of the country.

The Arctic wind will gradually reduce towards Monday.

According to the National Weather Service, dangerously cold air coupled with low temperatures will pose a life-threatening risk to stranded travelers, outdoor workers, livestock and pets.

The weather service warned, “In some areas, being outside can result in frostbite within minutes.”

As cold air continues to damage the warm waters of the Great Lakes, lake-effect snowfall and blizzard conditions are expected to continue, but gradually subside.

Still, strong winds gusts up to 60 mph that move along the Great Lakes’ icy bottom will continue to create extremely dangerous road conditions.

From Christmas night through Monday, another low-pressure system from the Pacific will bring another surge of moisture to the Pacific Northwest and then northern California, according to the weather service.

— CNN’s Joe Sutton, Isa Kauffman-Gabel, Selina Tabor, Mike Saenz and David J. Lopez contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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