The strong winter storm melted a large area of the United States on Monday, causing heavy snowfall and icy conditions as temperatures dropped below freezing.
Coast-to-coast hurricanes have dropped electricity for several million people across the country. Highways piled up on snow-capped roads and eighteen-wheelers looking after the pavement have been dispatched.
National Weather ServiceAt least 150 million Americans were under the advice of snow or winter weather. As the storm intensified, officials urged residents to cut themselves.
“The time to prepare for this storm was yesterday,” the National Weather Service in Texas said in a warning issued Sunday.
Authorities said more than 120 accidents occurred on roads in Houston, including a 10-vehicle tangle on Interstate 45. Several semi-trucks caught fire in a crash northeast of Oklahoma City.
The storm, which recorded low temperatures in Minnesota and dumped 11 inches of snow in Seattle, is now damaging parts of the country that are familiar with the worst conditions in winter.
“There will be more snow on land on a larger scale than ever before in Texas history,” Greg Abbott of Texas said at a news conference. Even the state’s Gulf Coast was put under warning. Both the state and federal government have issuedIn Texas because of the weather; President Biden approved the federal declaration on Sunday.
Michael J. Ventris, a meteorologist with IBM, said conditions stemming from the strong high-pressure system moved down the Arctic Circle, bringing some of the lowest temperatures the country has been experiencing for years.
He said the collision between the Arctic high and the warm, southerly wet wind was causing “a very impressive winter storm”, which would spread northeast from Texas and Louisiana.
Record temperatures are expected to fall in the middle of the country. In Oklahoma City, temperatures are forecast to be below 9 degrees on Tuesday; A record 17 degrees below zero was set in 1899.
The National Weather Service said temperatures in parts of Oklahoma were 40 degrees below normal. Periods of cold conditions are also uncommon: Oklahoma may have temperatures below 20 degrees for nine consecutive days,.
“It could be one of the most expensive natural disasters of the year,” said Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting for atmospheric and environmental research, a company that provides customers with information about weather and climate-related risks. . “Texas, which is known for hurricanes, is not known for the damage caused by ice and cold” such as bursting water pipes, he said, and “it’s not despite climate change, but from climate change Is related. “
In Texas, Austin was closed for the worst winter storm in a generation. The branches of trees, laden with icons, lean towards the ground. The parked cars were covered with snow sheets. Palm trees and a generally mild-weather city probably have more than five inches of snow in length, an amount not seen since 1966.
Parking at a grocery store in San Antonio was full as shoppers grabbed last-minute items before closing the market four minutes earlier.
For 30-year-old Zoe Waldron, the polar vortex and gray sky made her indifferent to her hometown La Conner, Wash. But in San Antonio? “It seems like a lifetime event,” she said.
Millions of homes and businesses across the country were projected to expand more than 2,000 miles due to a disastrous band of snow and ice without electricity in the early hours of Monday.
With more than a third of AmericansUtility companies from Texas to the Northeast were poised for more widespread power losses as the storm progressed.
In Texas, at least two million customers lost power,, Which collects data from utilities across the United States. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Residents of the city whose lights went out can remain without electricity for the entire day. He Said At your house.
Some outages were deliberately imposed, and could last until the morning, as utilities struggled to reduce stress on the power grid, as the weather forced some of the generating units to go offline,.
Elsewhere, nearly 300,000 customers in Oregon and 150,000 in Virginia were also without electricity.
Parts of the lower Mississippi, Tennessee, and Lower Ohio valleys may equal half an inch of snow on Monday, cutting cables and tree branches. The National Weather Service said southeastern Texas may receive more than an inch of rain.
In Middle Tennessee,Urged its 418,000 customers to charge cellphones and other electronic devices as the storm moved into the area Sunday night. The utility also advised them to prepare emergency kits, flashlights and batteries.
“It’s the rain of most concern,” utility spokesman Sylvia Smith said in an interview Sunday night.
Ms. Smith said the utility had a full complement of staff ready to respond on the down line and contracted staff on standby. He said black snow could hamper efforts to restore power overnight.
“When you have these types of situations, we have to make sure that it is safe for us to do this work,” she said.
This is the latest test for the Nashville Electric Service during a coronovirus pandemic. In March, a tornado hit the utility’s service area, and in May, 125,000 customers lost power during an unusually powerful storms, known as derechos, Ms. Smith said.
“Nashville has had some extreme events this season over the past year,” she said.
Prior to last week, Texas was not known much for the dangerous winter weather, or practiced well to cope with it. There were more than 120 accidents in Houston on Sunday night and the roads around it.
Still, some Texans are experiencing a setback of snow, ice and fridge temperatures, the kind of gusto that can only come from the Lone Star State.
“Oh – a medium-rare way,” said 20-year-old Ryan Villanueva of Vesselco in the Rio Grande Valley. “If it’s done well or well, it’s a piece of rubber.”
Mr. Villanueva was describing four 1½-inch rib-eye steaks he had just grilled on his barbecue as snow fell around Sunday night. “I wanted to cook something good for my family.”
It was not easy to start a fire in the cold. “Having a little trouble starting it, because the wind is blowing, you’re with trembling hands and cold matches, moist for whatever reason,” he said. Mr. Villanueva eventually finds the fire with the help of some odorless charcoal lighter fluid. The end result: “It was great.”
“Lady Bird didn’t like it,” said Victoria Martinez, 26, about her cat’s reaction to snow. But Lady Bird’s partner, LBJ, “wanted to run around the yard,” she said.
“Her personalities are completely opposite,” said Ms. Martinez, who plans to study marriage and family therapy.
Christophe Shitko was in the city of Dallas on Sunday, sledding with his wife and son on their way to a park when a car, and then two skiers, passed them. Mr. Shitko’s response: “I was laughing out loud.”
Ian Camfield, originally an English radio broadcaster, posted a photo of the outdoor swimming pool at his apartment complex in Dallas.
HeHow much he loves America, and the cold weather has led to inquiries back home. Mr. Kemfield said he was called by radio stations and friends to dispatch about snow in Texas. “I think they just got fascinated with it,” he said.
The purest expression of joy came from Mavelles Evans, 19, Lewisville, Texas, about 30 minutes north of Texas. In a short video, Ms. Evans smiles and lip-syncs the lyrics of the song: “It’s just water.”
“I chose that song,” he said, “because in Texas, if meteorologists say snow, it usually turns to water.”
This time, it was snow – but it was not the type you could pack in a snowball, Ms. Evans discovered. Never mind: He and his roommate used the lid of a large plastic container to throw things at each other – Snowball without snowball fight.
“Just do with everything you have,” he advised his neighbors. “Nobody is telling when we will get snow like this.”
There is more snow.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cold weather and the country’s homeless crisis have long been a deadly mix that community advocates and public officials have struggled to address. But this winter,How to wrestle with cities and community groups to shelter members of a vulnerable population from the elements while exposing them to an aerial virus that most easily does not spread indoors.
The calculations have been of greater urgency in recent times as the Arctic weather accumulates a large part of the middle of the country from Minnesota to Texas, with wind temperatures expected to be as low as minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit in some places. is.
Officials in Ramsey County, Minn., Which also includes St. Paul, have established shelters in an empty hospital and an empty madrasa hostel to give homeless residents a better distance from each other.
Chicago officials have used former school buildings as well as Salvation Army and YMCA locations to give service providers more space for shelter beds.
New Life Center, a non-profit rescue mission in Fargo, ND, built an abandoned warehouse to expand its shelter capacity.
And in Kansas City, where the forecast is minus 14 degrees on Monday, officials have transformed the Downtown Convention Center – the size of eight football fields – into a shelter.
With dining sites closed to public spaces such as libraries and many fast food restaurants, people experiencing homelessness have fewer places to warm up during the day or use the bathroom. Traditional shelters have had to reduce their capacity for social protection.
According to a city spokesperson, Kansas City typically spends $ 1.5 million on homeless services. But this year, with the help of the Federal Relief Fund, there are plans to spend $ 8.5 million on the programs, including paying hotel rooms to home families and providing financial assistance to prevent evictions.
At the insistence of local activists, city officials opened a temporary shelter with a capacity of 65 people in a community center in mid-January. The number that appeared quickly became higher, and city leaders had a difficult call to make.
“We made a collective decision, ‘Look, if any one of them has to spend the night in the street, it is a death sentence.” “If they come in and are likely to spread or catch the Kovid virus, more likely they can live that way.”