Home Illinois Massive winter storm brings rolling power outages | National

Massive winter storm brings rolling power outages | National


MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Tens of millions of Americans endured sweltering temperatures, blizzards, power outages and canceled holiday gatherings Friday as a winter storm forecasters said was nearly unprecedented in scale, unleashing about 60% of the US population to some kind of winter weather advisory or warning.

More than 200 million people were under advisories or warnings Friday, the National Weather Service said. The weather service’s map “represents one of the largest volumes of winter weather warnings and advisories,” forecasters said.

About 1.4 million homes and businesses were left in the dark due to power outages, according to PowerOutage, a website that tracks utility reports. Utilities in Nashville, Memphis and throughout the Tennessee Valley said they are shutting down power Friday to conserve power.

And more than 4,600 flights to, from and out of the U.S. were canceled Friday, according to tracking site FlightAware, causing even more chaos as travelers try to get home for the holidays.

“We just have to stay positive,” said Wendell Davis, who plays basketball with a team in France and was waiting at O’Hare in Chicago on Friday after a series of flight cancellations.

A huge storm stretched from border to border. In Canada, WestJet canceled all flights at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Friday starting at 9 a.m. as forecasters in the country warned of a potential once-in-a-decade weather event.

And in Mexico, migrants were waiting near the US border in unseasonably cold temperatures as they waited for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether and when to lift pandemic-era restrictions that have prevented many from seeking shelter.

Forecasters said a bomb cyclone — when atmospheric pressure drops very quickly during a severe storm — occurred near the Great Lakes, stirring up a blizzard that included high winds and snow.

The accidents claimed at least five lives, all involving motorists. At least one person has died in a massive pileup involving at least 50 vehicles on an Ohio highway, the State Patrol says. One driver died Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri, after a skid in a creek. Three more people were killed in separate crashes Wednesday on icy roads in northern Kansas, the State Patrol said.

Michigan also experienced a spate of crashes, including one involving nine semi-trailers.

Activists also rushed to bring the homeless out of the cold. Nearly 170 adults and children were staying warm Friday morning in a 100-person shelter and warming center in Detroit.

“It’s a lot of extra people,” but no one could be turned away, said Faith Fowler, executive director of Cass Community Social Services, which runs both facilities.

In Chicago, Andy Robledo planned to spend the day organizing a homeless screening effort through his nonprofit, Feeding People Through Plants. Robledo and volunteers build tents modeled after ice fishing tents, including plywood floors.

“This is not a house, not an apartment, not a hotel room. But this is a big step compared to what was before,” Robledo said.

In Portland, Oregon, nearly 800 people were sleeping in five emergency shelters Thursday night as homeless relief crews fanned out in the frigid weather.

All bus service was suspended in the Seattle area Friday morning. And DoorDash has suspended delivery service due to unsafe conditions in some states.

The power went out at Jamie Sheehan’s bakery in Maryland for about 90 minutes Friday, knocking out the convection oven and halting the mixer she needed to make the buttercream.

“Fortunately, all the orders that came in today were already fulfilled yesterday,” she said moments before the power was restored.

Around the same time, Corey Newcomb and his family were entering their sixth hour without power at their home in Phoenix, Virginia, a small town about 93 miles (150 kilometers) southwest of Richmond.

“We’re getting by and that’s about it,” Newcomb, 50, said in a Facebook post to The Associated Press, adding that he needed to run the generator because he has family with health issues.

In far northern Indiana, the lake-like snow coming off Lake Michigan could boost storm totals well over a foot in some areas, said Mark Steinwedel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Syracuse, Indiana.

“It’s really going to add up,” he said, predicting “a pretty awful journey.”

The weather service is predicting the coldest Christmas in more than two decades for Philadelphia, where school officials moved classes online Friday.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said she was deploying the National Guard to deliver wood to the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux tribes and help with snow removal.

“We have families we haven’t heard from in two weeks,” said Wayne Boyd, chief of staff to President Rosebud Sioux.

Fearing that some had run out of food, the tribe hoped to get a helicopter on Saturday to check on the detainees. The tribe also studied reports of deaths. During last week’s storm, a 12-year-old boy died after paramedics were unable to reach the home, Boyd said.

Meanwhile, the Oglala Sioux tribe used snowmobiles to reach members living at the end of miles of dirt roads.

“It was a heck of a fight,” tribal president Frank Starr told Comes Out.

In Maine, gusts of up to 70 mph (113 kph) were reported along the coast Friday morning. Winds reached 150 miles per hour (241 kilometers per hour) atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the highest peak in the Northeast.

In Boston, rain combined with high tide sent waves over the seawall at Long Wharf and flooded some downtown streets.

It was so bad in Vermont that Amtrak canceled service for the day and non-essential government offices closed early.

“I’m hearing from crews who are seeing uprooted trees,” Marie McClure, president of Green Mountain Power, the state’s largest utility, said at a news conference.

Calling it a “kitchen sink storm,” New York Gov. Cathy Hatchul declared a state of emergency Friday as winter weather approaches the state.

In eastern Iowa, sports broadcaster Mark Woodley became a Twitter sensation after being asked to broadcast live outdoors in wind and snow because sports were canceled. By noon Friday, a selection of his shows had been viewed nearly 5 million times on Twitter.

“I have good news and I have bad news,” he told the host. – The good news is that I can still feel my face. The bad news is that I’m really sorry I can’t feel it. »

Bleed reported from Little Rock, Arkansas. Associated Press reporters Dee-Anne Durbin in Detroit; Jillian Flakkus in Portland, Oregon; Zeke Miller in Washington; and Emily Wagster Pettus of Jackson, Mississippi, contributed to this report.


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