Washington. Historic Hurricane Elliott has plunged the United States into freezing weather in the midst of the Christmas season, leaving thousands of people on a bitter Christmas Eve as flights were canceled, roads collapsed and power outages in various parts of the country. has occurred.
The storm, a bomb cyclonic storm caused by an Arctic air front, is bringing freezing temperatures, heavy snow, strong winds and rain from Canada to Texas through Thursday.
If the forecasts hold true, the East Coast and several cities in Florida could experience the coldest Christmas since records were kept.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the national weather service, at least 200 million people in the United States, 60% of the population, are subject to some weather alert.
The last part of this organization indicates that 3.6 million people in the country’s Midwest, Northeast and Northwest remain on alert for a winter storm this Saturday.
Elliott’s route has left thousands of people in the country trying to reunite with their families without Christmas Eve as nearly 4,000 flights have been canceled this Saturday, according to figures from the Flight Aware portal. .
These are in addition to the nearly 6,000 cancellations that occurred on Thursday, causing chaos and gloom at many airports across the United States.
Even courier companies such as FedEx or UPS have announced delays in the delivery of gifts as a result of the storm.
The storm also affected the nation’s power infrastructure, with 1.4 million people without power in their homes, mainly in the states of North Carolina, Tennessee and Maine, according to the Power Outage Tracker.
Duke Energy Co. asked its customers in Ohio and Kentucky this Saturday to reduce the use of non-essential electrical equipment until tomorrow, because of the high demand for electricity caused by the low temperatures.
At least 15 people have died due to the storm, according to local media, four of them in a multi-car accident on a snow-covered Ohio highway.
The weather service warned Saturday that road travel was “extremely dangerous or even impossible” in parts of the Midwest and Northeast, and warned that “blizzards pose a life-threatening risk to stranded travelers.”
US President Joe Biden publicly warned Americans on Thursday to take the storm “extremely seriously” and follow the recommendations of officials.
At least 12 states in the country have declared a state of emergency due to the severe cold wave, such as Colorado, Georgia or New York.
“Today’s low temperatures have left dangerous conditions on the roads. Stay off the roads,” New York Governor Cathy Hochul urged on social networks this Saturday.
Hundreds of people are stuck on the streets due to snowfall in the city of Buffalo, which borders Canada. “It’s been a very bad night for our community,” Erie County Sheriff Mark Polonkarz told reporters.
Fearing a Christmas Eve impasse in Washington, members of the US House of Representatives arrived on Friday to vote on the fiscal year 2023 budget.
The minimum temperature in the US capital this Saturday was minus 13 degrees Celsius. The city is expected to have its coldest Christmas since 1989.