Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Deadly Winter Storms Sweep Across US, Claiming Over 90 Lives and Leaving Thousands Without Power

Severe winter storms have wreaked havoc across the United States, resulting in more than 90 weather-related deaths in the past week. The impacts of these ferocious storms have been widespread, with Tennessee and Oregon bearing the brunt of the fatalities, recording at least 25 and 16 deaths, respectively. The state of Oregon remains under a state of emergency due to the aftermath of severe ice storms.

The devastating weather conditions have left tens of thousands of people without power in various parts of the country. However, there is some relief in sight as icy conditions are expected to gradually ease off in the coming days.

The grim tally of 92 weather-related fatalities has been compiled by CBS, the BBC’s US partner. Apart from Tennessee and Oregon, casualties have been reported in Mississippi, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, Kentucky, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, and other areas.

Some of the tragedies have been particularly harrowing, like the incident in Portland, Oregon, where three people were electrocuted to death when powerful winds caused a power line to fall onto their vehicle. Miraculously, a baby in the vehicle survived.

Investigations are ongoing into other deaths, including a fatal five-car crash in Kentucky and four fatalities in Illinois. Additionally, five people, mostly presumed to be homeless, lost their lives within just four days in Seattle.

Mississippi has been hit hard, prompting officials to issue warnings for drivers to only travel if absolutely necessary and to be cautious of black ice on the roads. The state’s colleges and universities have delayed students’ return from winter break due to the hazardous conditions, and the death toll in Mississippi has now reached 11.

Mississippi officials are also looking into whether rumors of potential storm-related water shortages led residents to store water in their bathtubs, temporarily causing water pressure drops and dry faucets in Jackson, the state’s capital.

In Tennessee, nearly 400,000 residents remain under a boil water notice due to burst pipes in the Memphis area, one of nearly 30 regions facing similar warnings. Local utilities have been working tirelessly to repair 41 water mains and over 4,000 water pipes damaged by the extreme cold.

Restaurants and bars in affected areas, such as Memphis, have had to use bottled water to serve customers, with some establishments forced to close or modify their menus.

While electricity has been largely restored in areas that suffered outages due to the winter weather, tens of thousands of people across the country still find themselves without power. As of Sunday evening, 45,000 people were without power in Oregon, and additional outages were reported in Pennsylvania, California, New Mexico, and Indiana.

The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for Monday in parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma, with treacherous driving conditions expected to persist in many regions. However, a thaw is anticipated thereafter, though meteorologists caution that warm air and rain could lead to flooding in parts of the Midwest and northeastern US. By week’s end, temperatures in some eastern areas may significantly exceed the seasonal average.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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