The US has been hit by a snowstorm, warnings affect 150 million people – World – News

A woman walks wrapped in a blanket down a snowy street near downtown Dallas.

The southern United States has been suffering from unusually freezing weather since Monday, which began last week after the influx of Arctic air from Canada. From the area from Texas to Kentucky, traffic problems and large-scale power outages have been reported, and extreme conditions have claimed 14 lives.

Snow and ice are also a concern in the northwest and northeast of the United States, with various warnings from the US National Meteorological Service (NWS) covering areas with more than 150 million inhabitants.

The southern part of the USA has not experienced winter as in recent days for several decades; snow and ice have also covered areas where it is rare. Perhaps the worst situation was in Houston, Texas, which, according to the local Houston Chronicle, recorded the coldest day since 1989. Some commentators note that the region’s infrastructure is not ready for winter weather, lacking snow plows and heat insulation on homes.

Collapsing network

The result of temperatures of ten or even 20 degrees below freezing is a surge on the electricity grid, which collapses with an extremely high demand for energy. In Texas alone, four million customers were out of power today after midnight, said the website, which maps outages. In Kansas, some companies are resorting to interruptions due to the onslaught.

A worker removes pieces of ice on a frozen ...
A worker removes pieces of ice on a frozen fountain during freezing weather in Richardson, Texas.
(Click on the image to enlarge, open in new window)

The weather has also crippled air traffic, with two airports in Houston having stopped completely. The city recorded almost 120 road accidents in Sunday alone, writes the BBC news website. In Kentucky, two people died in Monday’s two crashes, and local police, like Oklahoma and Louisiana, urged residents not to go anywhere.

The leadership of the second most populous state of the USA declared a state of emergency for the whole territory over the weekend, while US President Joe Biden declared the situation in Texas a crisis and thus made federal aid available. Elsewhere, the authorities activated the National Guard.

14 victims

“Things are likely to get worse before they get better,” warned Lina Hidalg, the chief elected official of Harris County, including Houston. Meteorologists predict that the area will be hit by more snow or freezing rain on Wednesday night.

According to the AP, 14 deaths associated with the frost wave have been reported so far. In southern Louisiana, a man died after slipping on ice, while in the Houston area, police found the bodies of two men outside whose deaths, according to the authorities, were probably caused by extremely low temperatures. Four people burned in Texas after they broke a fire in a home fireplace due to damaged heating.

Three people died in North Carolina and another ten were injured when a tornado struck Brunswick County, which also destroyed dozens of homes. A number of states report deaths in traffic accidents caused by slippery roads, in Texas a woman and a girl suffocated with carbon monoxide as they ran a running car in the garage of a house with a power outage.

In the United States, in addition to the southern states, areas in the northeast and northwest are also reporting problems, the AFP agency reported. The NWS has warned of an “unprecedented and vast zone of dangerous winter conditions” and has issued warnings for regions with more than 150 million inhabitants.

Soft vaccine

Hundreds of thousands of people are already in Oregon due to earlier snowfall and freezing rain. Nebraska has recorded temperatures below minus 30 degrees Celsius and is rewriting historical tables. In Chicago, they canceled schooling after almost half a meter of fresh snow fell. In New Hampshire, state-run coronavirus testing and vaccination centers will be closed today due to adverse weather conditions.

Extreme weather is also holding back vaccine deliveries in many places, with Ohio Gov. Mike De Wine warning on Twitter that new doses of Pfizer and Moderna will arrive at vaccines there two days later.

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