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Updated January 16th, 2024 at 21:04 IST

Winter is Here: Arctic Blast Grips US, Causing Power Outages, Travel Disruptions, and Deaths

Sadly, the cold weather came at a human cost. At least four people in the Portland area perished, including two suspected victims of hypothermia.

Sagar Kar
AP
Texas, US | Image:AP
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New York, USA: A bitter cold snap sent temperatures plummeting across the Rockies, Great Plains, and Midwest on Tuesday, bringing wind chills below -30°F (-34.4°C) in many areas and wreaking havoc on infrastructure, transportation, and lives.

According to a report from The Guardian, over 85,000 homes and businesses, primarily in Oregon, faced power outages as icy conditions threatened further disruptions. Freezing rain warnings prompted Portland General Electric to caution of potential delays in restoring power.

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Schools Closed, Travel Thwarted by Treacherous Conditions

Schools in Portland, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, and Fort Worth shut their doors to protect students from the dangerous cold. Roads turned treacherous with ice, prompting transportation officials to urge residents to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

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Arctic Blast Disrupts Daily Life

The frigid temperatures and snowstorms impacted various aspects of life, from delaying NFL playoff games and disrupting the Iowa caucuses to causing numerous flight cancellations. FlightAware.com reported nearly 2,900 flight cancellations within, into, or out of the US on Monday.

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Tragic Toll of the Cold

Sadly, the cold weather came at a human cost. At least four people in the Portland area perished, including two suspected victims of hypothermia. A fallen tree claimed another life when it crushed a house, while a woman died in an RV fire caused by a fallen tree and an open-flame stove. In Wisconsin, three homeless individuals in the Milwaukee area died, with hypothermia suspected as the cause.

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Winter Weather Warnings Linger

Freezing rain and sleet continued to threaten parts of the Southeast on Tuesday morning, with winter storm warnings in effect for areas in Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

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Staying Safe in the Cold

With the cold snap expected to linger, it's crucial to prioritize safety. If you must travel, check road conditions and weather forecasts before venturing out. Dress warmly in layers, wear a hat and gloves, and avoid spending extended periods outdoors in the extreme cold. Look out for vulnerable neighbors and check on anyone at risk of being affected by the cold, such as the elderly or those without adequate heating.

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Remember, winter weather can be dangerous, so staying informed and taking precautions can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe during this frigid spell.

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Published January 16th, 2024 at 19:26 IST

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