Over 200M people, 60% of US population under warning for winter storms


Over 200 million people, or roughly 60% of the US population, are under some form of winter weather warnings or advisories across the country, the National Weather Service said in a statement Friday.

“Historic winter storm to produce widespread disruptions to large portions of the nation heading into the holiday weekend,” the statement said.

The agency stressed that the powerful Arctic front will continue to sweep across the eastern third of the nation on Friday, as the massive storm brings cold, snow, and high winds.

US airlines have continued to cut flights on Friday, and major couriers issued alerts as a severe winter storm has hit the nation ahead of the Christmas weekend.

Airlines had already canceled over 7,000 flights, while delays totaled 16,444, according to data from the flight tracking site FlightAware.

An additional 1,657 flights were canceled for Saturday, Christmas Eve, and there were nearly 500 delays.

On Thursday, there were over 6,000 cancelled flights and over 27,000 total delays.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the nation’s busiest as of 2021, had 31 minutes of wait time just at the main checkpoint on domestic flights, according to its website.

“Wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph (80.5 km) are expected in Chicago today. Airlines at O’Hare have proactively cancelled nearly 280 flights,” Chicago O’Hare International Airport wrote on Twitter.

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport said it is monitoring the winter storm that has begun to move through its region, noting it expects disruptions to flight activity

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport advised passengers Thursday on Twitter to be prepared for cold temperatures and dress appropriately.

Some of the US’ biggest shipping couriers, USPS, FedEX, and UPS, also warned that there could be delays in holiday packages.

“FedEx Express experienced substantial disruptions at our Memphis and Indianapolis hubs last night due to severe winter weather that has been moving across the United States … Potential delays are possible for package deliveries across the US,” it said in a statement.

UPS said: “Significant weather events across several regions of the US are impacting the UPS Air and Ground network, including UPS hubs in Louisville, Kentucky and Rockford, Illinois … Contingency plans are in place to help ensure that shipments arrive at their final destinations as quickly as conditions permit.”

The US Postal Service, USPS, said that almost 90 of its post offices have been temporarily closed due to the storm, from Dakotas to Minnesota and Iowa.

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