Hundreds of thousands of people are without power and thousands of flights have been delayed or canceled. According to the National Weather Service, dangerous and very cold temperatures are expected in western Canada and the central United States.
As of Friday, the blizzard had already caused more than 7,600 flight cancellations and delays in the United States, the FAA said Saturday. Many flights, particularly in Chicago, were forced to land due to high winds and snow.
About 150,000 homes and businesses were without power in Michigan, according to data from power outage tracker PowerOutage.US. Power went out to about 200,000 homes in Oregon and Wisconsin.
In the state of Iowa, emergency services responded to 86 crashes and hundreds of calls related to car problems on Friday. At least a hundred cars were stuck in the snow on Interstate 80 for more than five hours after several skidded trucks blocked traffic. Campaign events planned for Monday in the state by Republican presidential candidates Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump were all canceled due to dangerous traffic conditions.
Nebraska Governor Jim Billon declared a state of emergency on Saturday, citing “extremely dangerous weather” in his state. In some areas, up to 60 cm of snow fell in a few days. Large parts of highways are impassable. “It will take several days,” Billon told a news conference.
The winter started off exceptionally mild in North America, breaking all December temperature records, making skiing nearly impossible and many ice fishermen in the state of Minnesota falling into the snow. Now almost the opposite is happening. Meteorologists are calling a “rare and life-threatening” cold snap emergency that has affected tens of thousands of Americans and Canadians.
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