Massive winter storm brings freezing temperatures, snow and ice to US – Boston News, Weather, Sports
MISSION, Kan. (AP) – Tens of millions of Americans endured freezing temperatures, blizzard conditions, power outages and canceled gatherings Friday because of a winter storm that forecasters said was almost unprecedented in its size, which exposed nearly 60% of the US population to some type of winter weather advisory or warning.
More than 200 million people were issued an advisory or warning Friday, the National Weather Service said. The weather service’s map “represents one of the largest coverage of winter weather warnings and advisories,” forecasters said.
The power outages left more than 1.4 million homes and businesses in the dark, according to the PowerOutage website, which tracks utility reports.
And more than 4,100 flights in, to or from the United States were canceled on Friday, according to tracking site FlightAware, causing more chaos as travelers try to get home for the holidays. Some airports, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, closed runways.
The great storm stretches from border to border. In Canada, WestJet canceled all flights Friday at Toronto Pearson International Airport, starting at 9 a.m. And in Mexico, migrants near the US border are bracing for unusually cold temperatures as they wait for the US Supreme Court’s decision if and when the pandemic restrictions preventing many from applying for asylum will be lifted.
Forecasters said a bomb storm – when atmospheric pressure drops very quickly during a strong storm – had formed near the Great Lakes, bringing blizzard conditions including strong winds and snow.
Even with fleets of snow plows and salt trucks deployed, driving is dangerous and sometimes deadly. In Kansas City, Missouri, a minivan driver died Thursday after losing control on icy streets and jumping into a creek, police said.
Michigan State Police said in tweets that nine tractor-trailers crashed on Interstate 94 in Berrien County in the western part of the state and that a firefighter was hit at a separate location in the county while driving traffic. The firefighter has unknown injuries.
Activists also rush to pull the homeless out of the cold. Nearly 170 adults and children warmed up early Friday in Detroit at a shelter and warming center designed to accommodate 100 people.
“That’s a lot of extra people,” but “you can’t” turn anyone away, said Faith Fowler, executive director of Cass Community Social Services, which operates the two facilities.
In Chicago, Andy Robledo planned to spend the day organizing efforts to check on homeless people who received tents, propane heaters and other supplies through his nonprofit, Feeding People Through Plants. .
Robledo and volunteers build tents modeled after ice fishing tents, including a plywood subfloor.
“Not a house, not an apartment, not a hotel room. But it’s a big step from what they had before,” Robledo said.
In Portland, Oregon, authorities opened five emergency shelters. It was so cold in the city that Taylor Bailey lost feeling in her hands as she cycled to work at the iconic Cycle Portland rental, repair and tour shop in freezing temperatures.
“The wind is really, very cold. The wind is absolutely biting,” she said Thursday, adding that even her gloves didn’t help.
All bus services were suspended in much of Seattle on Friday morning due to an ice storm that made travel dangerous.
In far northern Indiana, where four counties remain under blizzard warnings through Saturday afternoon, between 2 and 6 inches of snow fell Friday morning, but lake effect snow that flowing into Lake Michigan could raise storm totals to over a foot in some places. by Sunday, said Mark Steinwedel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Syracuse, Indiana.
“It’s just nonstop lake effect snow and it’s really going to add up,” he said, predicting “a pretty horrible ride.”
The Weather Service is predicting the coldest Christmas in more than two decades in Philadelphia, where school officials moved classes online on Friday. Some surrounding districts have canceled classes entirely.
In South Dakota, Gov. activated. Kristi Noem of the state National Guard Thursday night to deliver firewood from the Black Hills Forest Service to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, where several members were stranded at home with dwindling fuel.
Scot Eisenbraun, who runs a farm and ranch near Wall in western South Dakota, said he has lost several cows in recent days. The cold is life-threatening if you’re caught outside, he said, so people travel in groups of two cars in case one gets lost.
In Maine, there were gusts approaching 70 mph (113 km/h) along the coast Friday morning. At the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the highest peak in the northeast, winds exceeded 130 mph (210 km/h).
It was so bad in Vermont that Amtrak canceled service for the day and non-essential state offices closed early.
“I’m hearing crews seeing crop trees being uprooted,” Mari McClure, president of Green Mountain Power, the state’s largest utility, said at a news conference.
In eastern Iowa, sportscaster Mark Woodley became a Twitter sensation after being called on to do live stand-ups in the wind and snow as sporting events were canceled. As of midday on Friday, a compilation of his TV stand-ups had been viewed nearly 5 million times on Twitter.
“I have good news and I have bad news,” he told a presenter. “The good news is that I can still feel my face now. The bad news is I hope I can’t.
Bleeding reported from Little Rock, Arkansas. Associated Press reporters Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit; Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Oregon; and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.
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