A prolonged winter storm causes power outages,…

Source: A prolonged winter storm causes power outages,…

Found on: 2022-12-26 07:00:11

How long will the effects of the winter storm last in the US? 4:58

(CNN) — Dangerously cold wind chills continued into Christmas morning across much of the United States after a nearly week-long winter storm dropped temperatures to life-threatening lows, triggered blizzards and coastal flooding, and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands. of homes and businesses.

Blizzard conditions persisted across the Great Lakes on Sunday as frigid temperatures gripped the eastern two-thirds of the country, with some large cities in the Southeast, Midwest and East Coast registering their coldest Christmas in decades.

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

Temperatures are expected to pick up later in the week, with a very 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 cold temperatures on Christmas Eve at several locations, including JFK and LaGuardia airports. The high in Central Park was minus 9 degrees Celsius, marking the second coldest December 24 in at least 150 years, according to the National Weather Service.

Winter storm leaves dozens dead 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 sufficient heat or hot water as bitterly cold temperatures persist.

NEW YORK — 17: 16 people died as a result of the winter storm in Erie County, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. One more person died in Niagara County, according to the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.

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

Wisconsin — 1: The Wisconsin State Patrol reported a fatal crash due to winter weather last Thursday.

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

Ohio — 9: Four people were killed in a crash on the Ohio Turnpike Friday “as a result of weather-related auto accidents,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. Four other people were killed in a weather-related accident on I-75 on Saturday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) confirmed. One more person was killed in a weather-related accident in Crawford County, according to OSHP.

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

Kansas — 4: Three people were killed in weather-related traffic accidents, the Kansas Highway Patrol told CNN on Friday.

Missouri — 1: One person died after their camper skidded off the icy road and into a frozen creek, first responders with the Kansas City Police Department said.

Power outages

Nearly 175,000 US homes and businesses were without power as of 8:30 am ET, many of them in Maine and New York, according to PowerOutage.us. Since the start of the storm, the number of outages has at times exceeded a million customers.

A power grid operator in at least 13 states in the eastern half of the country asked customers to save energy and set thermostats lower than usual from early Saturday until 10 a.m. Sunday because usage it was forcing capacity.

The operator, PJM Interconnection, serves some 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, 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 conserve power, citing extreme weather conditions and increased demand for power on the interstate pipelines that carry natural gas to the city.

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

In Jackson, Mississippi, freezing temperatures are hampering efforts to repair a large water main break late Saturday, causing a loss of water pressure for residents, city officials said.

“We are so grateful to the crews who brave these frigid temperatures on this Christmas Eve night as they work to restore pressure to residents. Their sacrifice does not go unnoticed and is appreciated not only by this administration, but also by all affected residents.” , the statement states.

flight cancellation

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

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

In New York’s Erie County, where the blizzard has wreaked havoc, about 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 Poloncarz.

National Guard troops were called in to help “rescue people trapped in the vehicles” and to take medical workers to relieve colleagues who had been working at hospitals for more than a day, Poloncarz said.

Buffalo, located in Erie County, measured 43 inches of snow as of 8:45 am ET Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

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

What to expect as the storm slowly weakens and hazardous conditions continue

Strong winds behind the arctic cold front that pushed through this week will lead to lake-effect snow and blizzard conditions at times across portions of the Great Lakes this Sunday.

Blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings, and winter weather advisories cover much of the Upper Midwest, the 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 rises over southeastern Canada, moving slowly over the next couple of days and pulling arctic Canadian air down over much of the eastern side of the country.

The arctic gust will slowly taper off towards Monday.

According to the National Weather Service, low temperatures combined with dangerous wind chill will create a life-threatening hazard for stranded travelers, people who work outdoors, livestock and pets.

“In some areas, being outdoors could cause frostbite within minutes,” the Weather Service warned.

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

Still, the strong winds gusting to 60 mph that accompany snow downwind of the Great Lakes will continue to create extremely hazardous road conditions.

By Christmas night through Monday, another low-pressure system from the Pacific will deliver the next surge of moisture into the Pacific Northwest and then into northern California, according to the Weather Service.

— CNN’s Joe Sutton, Isa Kaufman-Geballe, Celina Tebor, Mike Saenz and David J. Lopez contributed to this report.

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