A ‘historic winter storm’ has swept across the United States and trapped millions of people inside their homes, disrupting holiday travels ahead of Christmas. The cyclone bomb has severely hit over 1.4 million businesses, causes blackouts, power outrages, and dropped temperatures.
Reportedly, most of the outages are in the Eastern US where gusty winds have knocked down trees and power lines.
The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center tweeted on Thursday that “a strong cold front continues to rapidly move through the middle of the country this morning with remarkable temperature drops, strong winds creating dangerous wind chills, and bursts of snow.”
The lowest temperature recorded in the nation is in the western state Montana with -45°C , as recorded on Friday. Meanwhile, places like Des Moines, Iowa has a temperature like -37°F (-38°C) which can cause frostbite in less than five minutes, according to the National Weather Service.
Earlier on Thursday, US President Joe Biden told reporters that the White House has “tried to contact 26 governors so far in affected regions.”
“Please take this storm extremely seriously,” Biden said. “This is not like a snow day, you know, when you were a kid. This is serious stuff.”
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is urging people to stay off the roads as the state is bracing for the severe cold weather.
“We are urging Kentuckians to stay off the roads starting Thursday afternoon,” Beshear tweeted. “If you are an essential worker and must travel, please follow these safety tips and have a vehicle kit in your car.”
Airlines have cancelled more than 2,000 flights within, into, or out of the US as of early Thursday afternoon, according to the flight-tracking site FlightAware.
According to the reports, the death toll due to the cyclone has increased to 13, stats on Friday. Nine of them were reported to have died in weather-related incidents and four of them died in car accidents in Ohio. The state’s governor has urged the people of Ohio to stay indoors and remain vigilant as the current road conditions are posing a threat.
In New York, the state governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency as the temperatures became unbearable in the state due to the storm. She said, “We have had ice, flooding, snow, freezing temperatures, and everything that Mother Nature could wallop at us this weekend. In some parts of the state, precipitation is coming down as rain, which turns into ice as temperatures quickly dip. Other parts of the state are at risk of flooding. This is a life-threatening event.”
(Inputs from IANS)