Multiple deaths, 700,000 without power, travel headaches as winter storm Elliott unleashes Christmas chaos

At least 17 people were killed, more than 700,000 homes had no power and thousands of air passengers were stranded across the country on Saturday as a powerful winter storm created a pre-Christmas nightmare.

Record-breaking cold gripped the United States with whiteout conditions in some areas and fierce winds in others – while a ‘bomb cyclone’ battered parts of the country.

A “bomb cyclone” is created when atmospheric pressure drops rapidly during a strong storm.

Pittsburgh, Charleston, SC and Washington, DC were all set to hit record highs for Christmas Eve.

Fargo, ND., was supposed to be the coldest place in the country on Christmas.

The toll from the massive storm – which stretched from the Great Lakes to the Mexican border – included one man in the Big Apple and three in Erie County, where hard-hit Buffalo was expected to receive up to 4 feet of snow by Monday .

“What’s happening as we speak in Buffalo is life threatening,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said Saturday, noting that nearly all of that city’s fire trucks were stuck in snow.

A record cold gripped the country over the Christmas weekend.
Jeremy Hogan / SOPA Images/Sipa

In Ohio, four motorists were killed and many others injured in a pileup of 50 vehicles during a blizzard near Toledo. In neighboring Kentucky, three other weather-related deaths have been confirmed – two from car crashes and a homeless person who died from exposure.

An 82-year-old woman in Lansing, Michigan, died after being found curled up in the snow Friday morning outside her assisted living community, local police reported.

The massive amount of snow has raised concerns about flooding in several states, including North Dakota and Nevada.

Power grids across the country have been under strain, the Tennessee Valley Authority, which powers 10 million people in parts of seven states, said Friday it has delivered more power than ever in its 89-year run. ‘story.

Residents of 13 states served by Pennsylvania-based PJM Interconnection have been urged to refrain from unnecessary electricity use with the possibility of blackouts.

Airlines were stuck with 2,800 US flights canceled and another 6,600 delayed on Saturday, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.

A man, stranded at John F. Kennedy Airport on Saturday on his way from Detroit to Istanbul, called it “the worst travel experience of my life.”

“We didn’t get a hotel room, nothing,” said 27-year-old Amal Hammoud. “We got here only to miss our other flight, even though we were three hours early.”

A delayed United Airlines flight to Newark landed early on Christmas Eve morning, with passengers waiting at least another hour on the tarmac as the plane’s overhead compartment began to leak.

A car is left on the side of the road in the middle of the winter storm.
Airlines were afflicted with 2,800 US. canceled flights and another 6,600 delayed on Saturday.

At Kennedy Airport on Saturday, frustrated traveler Amy Sarr, 37, who works in media and events, was trying to fly home to see her family in Senegal. She said she flew to New York from Washington, DC on Friday and ran to her connecting flight to Senegal to sit on the plane for four hours before learning that he couldn’t take off.

“Of course we were hungry and needed to eat…and someone passed out. Like, literally,” she said.

After sleeping at the airport, she was hoping to catch another flight Saturday night. “I already miss half of Christmas, which is sad. I just miss being with the kids and being with my parents and just the warmth of Christmas,” she said.

A photographer struggling to get to Chicago from Detroit tweeted his frustrations.

“So @Delta you literally delayed our flight four hours just to cancel it. And this is my second canceled flight (sic) to go to Chicago,” photographer Jeremiah Hunnus posted after midnight on Christmas Eve, sharing a video of about a dozen disoriented passengers. This is unacceptable…. And I’m not well.

Some have tried to make the most of it.

“Our flight out of Portland tomorrow has been cancelled,” lamented Rob Glover, a professor of political science at the University of Maine, sharing a photo of a plate of chili fries. “So instead of being taken to the Caribbean, we drown our sorrows in cheese and gravy.”

There was no relief for those who managed to make it south with cool temperatures in Florida, which meant the iguanas were at risk of “freezing” and falling from the trees.

Overturned car in Kansas City, Mo.
A driver died Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri, after his car skidded in a creek.

In Texas, the Houston Humane Society rescued 138 frozen bats from the Waugh Street Bridge after they froze in place on Thursday.

“For Christmas to be this cold, in some areas, is historic, especially in the South,” said PKB Forecast Center meteorologist Stephen McCloud. “It’s not that cold so soon.”

He said the main storm system was slowly moving further north into Canada, which will continue to bring snow to the Great Lakes region through Tuesday.

Upstate New York, including Buffalo, is expected to see another foot to two feet of snow, while Michigan is expected to get between 3 and 8 inches.

with Post wires

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button