A massive winter storm moving across the United States is bringing frigid temperatures, whiteout conditions and power outages to more than half the country.
The storm, which put approximately 60% of the U.S. population under some form of winter weather advisory or warning, was blamed for approximately 1.4 million power outages by Friday evening, The Associated Press reported. The website PowerOutage, which tracks utility outages nationally, reported the largest number of outages Friday night in Maine, where more than 250,000 customers were in the dark.
“Christmas is canceled,” Mick Saunders, a resident of Buffalo, New York, trapped in blizzard conditions, told CNN. “All family and friends agreed it’s safer this way.”
FlightAware, a website which tracks delays and cancellations at airports nationwide, reported 5,433 flights within, into or out of the U.S. were canceled Friday, and an additional 9,569 were delayed.
“The National Weather Service’s Watch Warning graphic depicts one of the greatest extents of winter weather warnings and advisories ever,” the agency said Thursday, according to CNN.
“I called it a kitchen sink storm because it is throwing everything at us but the kitchen sink,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a news conference Friday, CNN reported. “We’ve had ice, flooding, snow, freezing temperatures and everything that mother nature could wallop at us this weekend.”
Roads and highways became dangerous as the storms moved through. At least three people were killed in a crash involving an estimated 50 vehicles on the Ohio Turnpike Friday. Michigan saw a number of crashes, including one that involved nine semitrailers, the AP reported.
A number of cities, including Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Tallahassee, are forecast to see their coldest high temperatures ever on Dec. 24, CNN reported. The forecast warns Miami, Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach in Florida will all see their coldest Christmas Day since 1983.
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