Superstorm could cover US in snow and cause week-long travel mayhem: Over 1.7 million US homes and businesses are without power after a winter storm, and millions worry about Christmas and vacation plans.
The National Weather Service issued weather warnings for almost 200 million people on Saturday due to wind chills that dropped temperatures to negative 48 Celsius (minus 55 Fahrenheit).
Superstorm could cover US in snow and cause week-long travel mayhem
Snowstorms and freezing rain caused power outages from Maine to Seattle, prompting a major electrical grid operator to warn 65 million eastern US residents of potential rolling blackouts.
At least 12 people have died nationwide due to exposure, car crashes on icy and snow-covered roads, and other storm-related effects, including two people who died in their homes outside Buffalo, New York, when emergency crews could not reach them during a historic blizzard.
- FlightAware reports that more than 1,000 flights have been canceled on Saturday because to the storm that destroyed power lines, piled up automobiles on roadways, and caused tragic accidents.
- Friday saw over 5,700 flight cancellations, while Thursday saw 2,700.
- Heavy snowfall and strong winds have affected several areas, including the temperate south.
- Nearly unmatched in extent, the storm stretched from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande in Mexico.
- The Pacific Northwest was covered in ice from freezing rain, while the Northeast endured coastal and interior floods.
Snowy weather and collisions delayed highways in Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio, prompting officials to advise travelers to avoid unnecessary travel.
Amtrak has canceled dozens of Christmas trains, affecting holiday travel for thousands.
Winter weather forced the FAA to halt stop or postpone de-icing at many US airports.
With two storms and heavy winds hitting airports nationwide, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN that the US aviation infrastructure “is operating under enormous strain”. Buttigieg claimed 10% of US flights were canceled Thursday.
In addition to the 11,300 flights delayed on Thursday, 10,400 US flights were delayed on Friday, including more than 40% of American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines flights.
Southwest cancelled 1,238 flights on Friday, 29% of its scheduled flights, and Alaska Airlines cancelled 507, 64%.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport canceled 357 flights, 63% of departures, on Friday. Late on Friday, delays averaged nearly three hours after the FAA removed a snow and ice ground stop.
About half of outgoing flights at Detroit Metro, 70 percent at Portland, 38 percent at LaGuardia, 29 percent at O’Hare, and 27 percent at Boston were canceled.