Millions of Americans are facing below-zero temperatures and storms this weekend
Low temperatures across much of the U.S. left millions of Americans facing potentially dangerous cold on Sunday, as Arctic storms threatened near-blizzard conditions in the Northeast and several inches of snow in parts of the South.
The National Weather Service warned that windy and extremely cold conditions in Montana and the Dakotas could cause wind temperatures to drop to minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the National Weather Service, an estimated 95 million people were exposed to weather advisories or advisories for wind chills below zero Fahrenheit. Meteorologists said the extreme cold was expected to extend as far south as North Texas.
Even parts of northern Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia could also see snow. In Shreveport, Louisiana, Mary Trammell was among residents who stocked up on bottled water, food and fuel for generators ahead of a near-freezing weather forecast that will bring an inch of snow and leave roads covered in ice.
“It’s cold out here,” said Trammell, who told KSLA-TV she bought bread and ingredients to make enough soup to last several days. “I can get what I need and make sure the house is well stocked.”
The weather also disrupted flights. As of 12:15 p.m., there were 2,653 flights delayed within or outside the United States with 1,025 flights cancelled, according to FlightAware. At Palm Beach International Airport, there were three cancellations for both departures and arrivals, all to and from Newark, New Jersey, and there were also seven departure delays and five arrival delays.
More than half of the flights to and from Buffalo Niagara International Airport have been cancelled. Dozens of flights were also canceled or delayed at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Officials warned people to stay off the roads in Buffalo, New York, where between one and two feet of snow was expected. The severe storm forced the NFL’s Buffalo Bills-Pittsburgh Steelers game to be postponed from Sunday to Monday. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph (80 kph) are also possible, said Zach Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland.
“They are expected to see heavy snowfall, as well as high winds,” Taylor said. “That’s why they expect to see near blizzard conditions at times.”
Forecasters also warned Sunday that heavy snowfall and winds could cause a sharp and sudden drop in visibility in eastern Pennsylvania and parts of northern New Jersey and Delaware. The weather service urged people to stay off the roads, saying such storms could bring “near whiteout conditions and a rapid fall of half an inch of snow in just 10 to 15 minutes.”
Another arctic storm that has dumped heavy snow in the Rocky Mountains is expected to head south, potentially bringing 4 inches to 6 inches (0.10 to 0.15 meters) of snow to parts of Arkansas, northern Mississippi and western Tennessee.
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency ahead of the severe weather to give utility trucks and trucks transporting essential supplies more flexibility to respond.
More than 150,000 homes and businesses were without power in Oregon on Sunday after heavy snow and ice storms, according to poweroutage.us. Widespread outages were also reported affecting tens of thousands in Michigan and Wisconsin.
Severe weather in Oregon played a role in the deaths of three people.
In Portland, coroners were investigating a death due to hypothermia due to freezing rain and heavy snow in a city more accustomed to mild winter rains, and hundreds of people took refuge in warming centers overnight.
Portland Fire and Rescue also reported the death of a woman in her early 30s on Saturday afternoon. The RV caught fire when a small group of people used an open flame stove to keep warm inside and a tree fell on the vehicle, causing the fire to spread. Three other people escaped, one with minor injuries, but the woman remained trapped inside, the fire department said.
A large tree fell on a home during high winds Saturday, killing an elderly man on the second floor, authorities said in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Weather-related deaths had already been reported earlier in the week in California, Idaho, Illinois and Wisconsin.
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