UNITED STATES NEWS

More than 50 dead across U.S. after winter storms ravage country

Jan 19, 2024, 7:00 PM

A snow plow clears  I-25 during blizzard like conditions on January 13, 2024 in Blencoe, Iowa. The ...

A snow plow clears I-25 during blizzard like conditions on January 13, 2024 in Blencoe, Iowa. The second winter weather system in a week is bringing blizzard conditions across Iowa as voters prepare for the Republican Party of Iowa's presidential caucuses on January 15th. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

 

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two weeks of storms that have turned roads into icy death traps, frozen people to death from Oregon to Tennessee and caused power outages that could take weeks to fix continued to sock both coasts with another round of weather chaos on Friday.

The rain, snow, wind and bitterly cold temperatures have been blamed for at least 55 deaths in the U.S. over the past two weeks as a series of storms moved across the country. Schools and roads have closed, and air traffic has been snarled

There is hope. The forecast for next week calls for above average temperatures across almost the whole country, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavier-than-forecast snow fell in New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., on Friday and Michigan City, Indiana, received 17 inches (43 centimeters) of lake-effect snow. But the biggest problems remained in places hit hard by storms earlier in the week.

On the West Coast, Oregon’s governor declared a statewide emergency Thursday night, nearly a week after the start of a crippling ice storm.

Thousands have been without power since last weekend in parts of Oregon’s Willamette Valley because of the freezing rain.

“We lost power on Saturday, and we were told yesterday that it would be over two weeks before it’s back on,” said Jamie Kenworthy, a real estate broker in Jasper in Lane County.

About 90,000 customers remained without electricity Friday afternoon in the state after back-to-back storms, according to poweroutage.us.

Portland Public Schools canceled classes for the fourth straight day amid concerns about icy roads and water damage to buildings, and state offices in the city were also ordered closed.

Ice was also a problem in the South. Snow and freezing rain added another coat of ice in Tennessee on Thursday. More than 9 inches (22.8 centimeters) of snow has fallen around Nashville since Sunday, nearly twice the yearly average.

Authorities blamed at least 17 deaths in Tennessee on the weather. Several were from traffic wrecks. In Washington County, a patient in an ambulance and a person in a pickup were killed in a head-on crash when the truck lost control on a snowy road.

Exposure to cold was deadly, too. A 25-year-old man was found dead in a mobile home in Lewisburg after a space heater fell over and turned off.

“There was ice on the walls in there,” Marshall County Chief Deputy Bob Johnson said.

Kentucky reported five deaths from the freezing weather. A statement from Gov. Andy Beshear didn’t provide details.

The cold in Washington state was blamed for five deaths. The people — most of them presumed homeless — died from exposure to cold in just four days last week in Seattle as temperatures plummeted to well below freezing, the medical examiner’s office said.

Two people died from exposure as far south as Louisiana, where temperatures in part of the state stayed below freezing for more than two days.

The cold broke so many water mains in Memphis that the entire city was placed on a boil water notice because the pressure was so low, Memphis Light, Gas and Water said. Bottled water was being given out in at least two locations Friday.

In Jackson, Mississippi, law enforcement agencies are investigating whether social media rumors about a potential water outage during the cold snap prompted people to fill bathtubs with tap water. The water system in Mississippi’s capital experienced a drop in pressure that temporarily made faucets run dry for thousands of customers Wednesday and Thursday, though service was restored by Friday.

A significant drop in blood donations led Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Blood Assurance to recommend that more than 70 hospitals in five states halt elective surgeries until Wednesday to let the organization rebuild its inventory. In a news release Thursday, the group cited the weather and several massive blood transfusions in the previous 24 hours in its plea to the hospitals in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Aaron Robison, 62, has been staying at one of Nashville’s warming centers and said the cold wouldn’t have bothered him when he was younger. But now with arthritis in his hip and having to rely on two canes, he needed to get out of the cold.

“Thank God for people helping people on the streets. That’s a blessing,” he said.

On Friday, more bitterly cold air was spilling into the Midwest from Canada. Several states were under an advisory as forecasters warned of wind chills dipping to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 34 degrees Celsius) could be common through Sunday morning.

Since extreme cold weather set in last week, more than 60 oil spills and other environmental incidents have been reported in North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields. Wind chills as low as minus 70 degrees F (minus 56.6 C) have strained workers and equipment, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Lake-enhanced snow finally moved out of Buffalo, New York, late Thursday after burying parts of the city and some suburbs in five feet of snow in five days. The Buffalo Bills renewed their call for snow shovelers Friday, offering $20 an hour for help digging out Highmark Stadium before Sunday’s divisional playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The West Virginia Legislature left after a brief session Friday because not enough lawmakers could get through snow-covered highways to the Capitol to vote on bills.

In Washington, snow fell softly and the streets around the U.S. Capitol were silent. Schools closed again for the second time in a week, and the government was on a two-hour delay. President Joe Biden still planned to host mayors from around the country on Friday, though, and was heading to his Delaware beach home for the weekend.

___

Associated Press journalists Jonathan Mattise and Kristin M. Hall in Nashville, Adrian Sainz in Memphis, Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, Colleen Long in Washington, and Jeffrey Collins in Columbia South Carolina, contributed.

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

United States News

Associated Press

Cause of crash that killed NY couple at Niagara Falls border crossing still a mystery 8 months later

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — A police investigation into the crash and explosion that killed two people in a high-powered luxury car at a Niagara Falls border crossing last year has concluded with the crash’s cause still a mystery, authorities said. The probe into the Nov. 22, 2023, crash that killed Kurt and Monica Villani, […]

1 hour ago

FILE - A long row of unsold 2021 X3 sports-utility vehicles sits at a BMW dealership Sunday, March ...

Associated Press

BMW recalls over 291,000 SUVs because interior cargo rails can detach in crash, raising injury risk

DETROIT (AP) — BMW is recalling more than 291,000 SUVs in the U.S. because the interior cargo rails can detach in a crash, increasing the risk of injury. The recall covers certain X3 SUVs from the 2018 through 2023 model years. The company says in documents posted by U.S. safety regulators that dealers will replace […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Authorities identify victims of fatal plane crash near the site of an air show in Wisconsin

NEKIMI, Wis. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man and a man from New York have been preliminarily identified as the victims of a fatal plane crash near the site of an airshow in eastern Wisconsin. The bodies of Sean Tommervik, 37, of Philadelphia, and James G. Sullivan, 32, of Brooklyn, were found Monday in the wreckage […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Fake protest set for TV shoot on NYC campus sparks real demonstration by pro-Palestinian activists

NEW YORK (AP) — A fake protest encampment set up for a TV shoot on a New York City college campus sparked a real reaction from pro-Palestinian activists, who organized their own demonstration against the filming, a newspaper reported Wednesday. The scenario unfolded Monday and Tuesday at Queens College, where the CBS drama “FBI: Most […]

2 hours ago

Lear production worker Abigail Fletcher rides her mini bike in support of the picket line as member...

Associated Press

Strike at plant that makes truck seats forces production stoppage for Missouri General Motors

Production has halted at a Missouri General Motors plant that manufactures trucks and vans, the result of a strike at the company that supplies seats for the vehicles. About 480 workers at Lear Corp. in Wentzville walked out at midnight Sunday. The strike brought production to a standstill Monday at the GM plant in Wentzville, […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears speaks at a press conference announcing that Raymond Ron...

Associated Press

Mistrial declared in case of Indiana man accused of fatally shooting five, including pregnant woman

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A judge declared a mistrial in the case of an Indianapolis man accused of fatally shooting five people, including a pregnant woman, after a witness verbally confronted the defendant in front of the jury. Marion County Superior Judge Chris Miller declared the mistrial Tuesday in the trial of Raymond Ronald Lee Childs […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

More than 50 dead across U.S. after winter storms ravage country