On Christmas Eve, America is devastated by a massive snowstorm. The death toll from the winter’s onslaught has risen to at least 22, and more than a million and a half Americans are without power. As of Saturday afternoon, more than 2,600 flight cancellations and 6,100 delays were recorded at airports.
Winter freezes America. Snow storms and strong winds of up to 100 km/h are blowing almost the entire country. The temperature dropped to very low values, reaching -13 degrees Celsius during the day.
Meteorologists point out that the Arctic blast is particularly dangerous because it coincides with the season of increased holiday travel. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued warnings and advisories to nearly 200 million people on Friday, the highest number ever. In the North East of the United States – the states of New York, Ohio and Michigan – the situation is more difficult.
Across the country, officials attributed at least 22 deaths to the weather, according to CNN
At least four people have been killed in a 50-vehicle highway crash in Ohio, USA Today reported. During dangerously cold temperatures in Michigan, an 82-year-old woman was found dead near a nursing home.
Amid a record snowstorm in Buffalo, New York, emergency services couldn’t reach two dead people in time.
Lack of energy
There have been problems with power supply due to the blizzard, but – according to Reuters – the situation is improving. On Saturday evening, Polish time, 1.8 million customers were without electricity. Overnight, this number was reduced to around 700,000.
In the evening, energy companies such as Con Edison in New York were urged to conserve electricity and set thermostats above normal temperatures. They called for abandoning the use of washing machines, dishwashers, dryers and other energy-intensive appliances.
Air traffic disruptions and road closures
The weather also disrupts traffic, which is exacerbated during the holiday season. FlightAware, a company that, among others, monitors air traffic, recorded more than 2,600 canceled flights and 6,100 delayed flights on Saturday. Friday was even worse. More than 5,900 flights were canceled and 11,500 were delayed. Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Denver International Airport experienced the biggest problems.
Bureau of Meteorology reports weather anomalies in Buffalo. 56.6cm of snow fell there on Friday, almost doubling the previous daily record of 32cm set in 1976. Wind speed is 96 kmph. The city recorded 5 inches of rain, breaking the record of 4.3 inches set daily in 1876.
Erie County, Buffalo, Mark Poloncarz told CNN that nearly 500 motorists were trapped in their vehicles Friday night, and hundreds more could be trapped. He asserted this despite the ban on entering the streets due to the snowstorm. – Even if you’ve lost power, it’s much safer to stay inside a house where it’s only 7 degrees Celsius than to go outside and be exposed to the blinding wind of minus 29 degrees – Bollencarz argued.
A highway crash near Toledo, Ohio, involving 50 vehicles. Four drivers were killed. Services feared freezing and had to evacuate people from the scene in buses.
Main photo source: EPA/OHIO Highway Patrol
. “Hardcore internet junkie. Award-winning bacon ninja. Social media trailblazer. Subtly charming pop culture advocate. Falls down a lot.”