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Historic storms threaten Americans and power outages for 1.5 million people

The United States celebrates Christmas in the atmosphere of a “historic” storm that deprived 1.5 million homes of electricity, and this travel season led to more than five thousand flight cancellations, highway closures, and accidents, some of which resulted in deaths.

This storm, which the US meteorological agencies described as “historic,” was punctuated by heavy snowfall, polar winds, and a drop in temperatures to 48 degrees below zero in some places.

As of Friday morning, warnings and advisories have been issued to more than 240 million people, or 70 percent of Americans in the United States.

This phenomenon led to chaos in the transportation sector, while millions of Americans invaded roads and airports to travel in the festive season at the end of the year.

In the state of New York, movement was prohibited in Erie County, and Jennifer Orlando, who resides in the city of Hamburg in the same county, told Agence France-Presse: “We stay at home, I cannot see the other side of the street” because of the snow.

She added that she was deprived of electricity for about four hours due to a car crashing into an electricity pole.

About 1.5 million homes were deprived of electricity on Friday, especially in North Carolina, Maine and Virginia, according to the specialized website “Power-Outage”. US,” and as of Friday evening, about a million of those homes were without electricity.

The storm hit a wide area extending from the Canadian border in the north to the Mexican border in the south.

And in El Paso, Texas, shelters have opened so that immigrants from Mexico can protect themselves from the danger of the cold as temperatures drop. Volunteer Rosa Falcon, 56, told AFP that many are reluctant to accept the offer, and some of them “simply sleep wrapped in blankets.”

On Friday evening, the specialized site “Flight-Aware” reported the cancellation of 5,500 flights in the United States, explaining that the most affected airports are those in Seattle, New York, Chicago and Detroit.

To get to Los Angeles, Kristen LeRosin was unable to fly from Vancouver, Canada, and had to convince her brother to drive to Seattle to catch another flight with a stopover in Denver.

“My flight from Seattle was delayed, my flight from Denver was delayed, and now they’ve lost my luggage,” she told ABC 7 on Friday night.

Several states declared states of emergency, including New York, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Georgia and North Carolina, and visibility was almost non-existent, while the roads became very dangerous due to frost and ice.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear told CNN, warning: “You must stay at home and not take risks on the roads.” He added: “Your family wants to see you home for Christmas, but most of all they want to see you alive.”

He confirmed that three people died on the roads of Kentucky.

In Oklahoma, at least two people have died on the road, according to the state’s emergency management agency.

In Ohio, a massive collision of about fifty vehicles on a highway killed at least one person, according to local media.

Hurricanes threaten the US states
In Michigan, traffic was cut off on a highway, Friday morning, due to an accident involving nine locomotives.

This storm, rare in its intensity, was caused by the collision of two air masses, one very cold from the Arctic and the other tropical from the Gulf of Mexico, and it was exacerbated by a very rapid decrease in atmospheric pressure in less than 24 hours.

The Buffalo Department of Meteorology said this type of storm occurs “only once in a generation.”

And in Chicago, where the temperature dropped to around minus 20 degrees Celsius during the day on Friday, the “Night Ministry” organization to help the homeless was concerned about the number of beds that the city provided, stressing that it was not enough.

“Some of the people we’re taking in are homeless this year,” Major Caleb Sien, an official with the Salvation Army in Chicago, told AFP. “Some are afraid because this is the first time they are at the mercy of nature with nowhere to go,” he added.

Canada also faces this phenomenon with warnings of hail, storms and even snow storms in most of the country’s territory.

But the freezing temperatures didn’t stop Jennifer Campbell from doing her last-minute Christmas shopping in downtown Toronto.
This tourist, who came from Ontario, said: “We have big storms regularly and we adapt .. We are Canadians, it is our way of doing it.”



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