Hundreds of Thousands of US Households are without Power due to a Powerful Winter Storm
A powerful winter storm last night knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the United States, left millions fearing further power outages and hampered emergency response efforts, AP reported, cited by BTA.
Across the country, at least 18 deaths were caused by freezing temperatures, crashes on icy roads and other effects of the storm.
Deep snow, cold temperatures and power outages forced some Buffalo residents to leave their homes and try to reach places with working heat. New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul said Buffalo Niagara International Airport will be closed until Monday morning and nearly all of Buffalo's fire engines are stuck in the snow.
Blinding snowstorms, freezing rain and cold also knocked out power from Maine to Seattle, and one of the main transmission grid operators in the eastern US warned its 65 million customers that it may have to phase out blackouts.
Pennsylvania-based PJM Interconnection said its power plants were struggling to operate in the cold weather and asked residents in 13 states to refrain from unnecessary electricity use at least until Christmas morning.
According to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, two people died in their homes Friday after emergency crews were unable to reach them in time to provide medical care. He said one more person had died in Buffalo.
On a highway in Ohio, four people have died in a huge chain accident involving about 50 cars. A Kansas City, Missouri, driver died Thursday after his car plunged into a river, and three others died Wednesday in separate crashes on icy roads in northern Kansas.
A worker trying to restore power also died in Ohio on Friday.
A Vermont woman died in a hospital Friday after a tree snapped in high winds and fell on her. Police in Colorado Springs say they have found the body of a man who appeared to be homeless after freezing temperatures and snow fell in the region. Near Janesville, Wisconsin, a 57-year-old woman died Friday after falling into an icy river, the Rock County Sheriff's Office said.
In Lansing, Michigan, an 82-year-old woman died Friday morning outside her home, police said.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said one person died in a weather-related crash in western Kentucky and a homeless person died in Louisville.
The storm is nearly unprecedented in its scope, stretching from the Great Lakes near the Canadian border to the Rio Grande River along the Mexican border. Temperatures have dropped sharply below normal for the month from the eastern Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, the National Weather Service said.
According to flight tracking site FlightAware.com, more than 2,360 flights in, to or from the US were canceled last night.
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