Connect with us

U.S News

The storm that hits the United States has killed at least 17 people

Published

on


(New York) A severe winter storm, accompanied by freezing temperatures, continues to disrupt the Christmas weekend in the United States, where it caused the cancellation of thousands of flights and caused the death of at least 17 people.

The US National Weather Service (NWS) warned that the cold posed a deadly risk and urged Americans in affected areas to stay indoors. Friday, because of the wind, the temperature felt down to -48 ° C, according to the same source.

In hard-hit New York, Governor Kathy Hochul deployed the National Guard to Erie County and Buffalo, the state’s main city, where authorities said emergency services are nearing paralyzed.


PHOTO LINDSAY DEDARIO, REUTERS

Ice formed by Lake Erie waves covers a footbridge in Irving, New York, on December 24, 2022.

The situation is particularly impressive in Buffalo, located on the other side of the border with Canada.

A couple from this lakeside town told AFP that the roads being impassable, they will not make the ten-minute journey necessary to visit their family over Christmas.

“We can currently see across the street, but last night we couldn’t even see beyond our porch,” said Rebecca Bortolin, 40.

Her fiancé Ali Lawson suffers from back pain but prefers to stay at home rather than take the risk of driving to the hospital.

” Behind us ”

Since Wednesday evening, a winter storm, one of the most violent in decades, has been battering the country, the accompanying polar winds causing heavy snowfall, especially in the Great Lakes region.


PHOTO KEVIN HOAK VIA REUTERSH

Hoak’s restaurant is covered in ice from the waves of Lake Erie during a winter storm that hit the Buffalo area December 24 in Hamburg, New York.

There, the NWS warned that the blizzard would continue during Christmas Day and announced a “slow moderation of temperatures until Monday”.

More than 3,300 flights were canceled on Saturday and more than 7,500 delayed. The previous day, nearly 6,000 flights had been canceled, according to tracking site Flightaware.com.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Twitter on Saturday that “the most extreme disruptions are behind us, with airlines and airports gradually resuming operations” – words clung to by travelers stranded in airports such as Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit and New York, hoping for a Christmas miracle.

Zack Cuyler, 35, is forced to spend New Year’s Eve with friends in New York, after two cancellations of his flight to Houston this week, where he was to reunite with his family.

Even if he is “quite overwhelmed”, he should be able to join his loved ones in the middle of the day on Sunday, Christmas Day. “What I’m grateful for,” he told AFP.

In total, authorities have confirmed at least 17 deaths, across eight states, due to the weather.

Some of those deaths occurred on the roads, which have become very dangerous, such as in Ohio, where four people died in storm-related accidents, Governor Mike DeWine said.

A bit everywhere in American cities, such as Denver or Chicago, shelters have been opened to accommodate people in need to allow them to warm up and protect them from the risk of hypothermia.

Due to the very low temperatures, the pressure on the power grid was extremely high.

Up to 1.7 million people lost power, according to Poweroutage.us. Electricity was largely restored on Saturday evening, but in certain parts of the country, the population was called upon to reduce its consumption and load shedding was put in place, in particular in North Carolina where temperatures were largely negative.


PHOTO LOGAN CYRUS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

This Charlotte, North Carolina store was forced to close due to a power outage.

Suspended trains

Some cities, notably in North Carolina, had to temporarily cut power due to high electricity demand, leaving homes without heat.

In El Paso, Texas, desperate migrants from Mexico huddled for warmth in churches, schools and a civic center, teacher and volunteer Rosa Falcon told AFP.


PHOTO JOSE LUIS GONZALEZ, REUTERS

Migrants mostly from Venezuela use blankets to keep warm in the streets of El Paso, Texas on December 23.

But some chose to stay outside in freezing temperatures because they feared they would come to the attention of immigration authorities, she added.

“The storm is expected to last through the weekend, before temperatures return to seasonal norms by the middle of next week,” the NWS said.

Until then, “if you must travel or be outdoors, prepare for extreme cold by wearing several layers of clothing, and covering as much skin as possible,” the NWS wrote on Saturday. “In places, being outside could cause frostbite within minutes. »



Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *