‘Once-in-a-generation’ winter storm leaves 26 dead in US: Report
A winter storm that has been making its way this week across most of the US has left at least 26 people dead, with large portions of the country experiencing freezing weather conditions, local media outlets said Sunday.
The National Weather Service (NWS) announced Saturday that freezing Arctic winds which had affected about two-thirds of the country will continue to have a significant impact on its central and eastern regions on the weekend.
At least 26 people were killed and many others injured in traffic accidents, while in some areas where there is heavy snowfall, an emergency has been declared and a driving ban has been imposed.
In some states, electricity network operators have called on customers to conserve power due to a capacity issue.
-60% of population affected by snowstorm
The deadly snowstorm, which has expanded in scope from the Great Lakes in Canada to the Rio Grande on the Mexican border, has affected around 60% of the US population.
The flight tracking website FlightAware reported that on Dec. 25, a total of 1,645 flights were canceled on domestic and international routes and 3,869 flights were delayed.
The NWS also reported that the snow total at Buffalo Niagara International Airport had reached 109 centimeters (43 inches) as of Sunday morning.
Authorities also said a strong storm that had formed near the Great Lakes due to a sudden drop in atmospheric pressure called a “bomb cyclone” had occurred, which brought high winds and heavy snow.
Migrants left in freezing conditions
Meanwhile, according to local media reports, several buses pulled up late Saturday in front of the residence of US Vice President Kamala Harris in the capital Washington, D.C, dropping off a large number of migrants.
The refugees, who stood in the freezing cold in short-sleeved T-shirts, were taken to shelters and churches in the city.
Since April, a large number of “migrant buses” from Arizona and Texas have been dropping off tens of thousands of migrants in the city.
The governors of Republican states in the country are sending illegal immigrants coming by buses from the Mexican border to Democrat-led states such as Washington D.C. and New York.
On Dec. 21, national and local weather agencies had warned of severe cold and snowy weather conditions that could be seen “once in a generation.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had announced that cold weather conditions that have not been experienced in the last 40 years were approaching some parts of the country.
In addition, it was reported that the storm was expected to reach the pressure equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane in the Great Lakes region of the country on the Canadian border.
Due to the storm, the ground floors of some hospitals and businesses on New Jersey’s coastline were submerged by water from the overflowing Hudson River, while many vehicles were damaged by the flood.
Coastal areas of Queens and Brooklyn in New York were also damaged by rising ocean waters, while waves brought by high winds left some streets and areas along the coastline unusable.
*Writing by Merve Berker
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