More than 90 dead after fierce US winter storms

More than 90 dead after fierce US winter storms

Over the past week, the United States has experienced devastating winter storms, resulting in over 90 weather-related deaths. The toll is particularly severe in Tennessee, with at least 25 fatalities, and Oregon, which declared a state of emergency following intense ice storms that claimed 16 lives. Widespread power outages persist, affecting tens of thousands of individuals across various regions. Fortunately, forecasts indicate a gradual easing of icy conditions in the coming days.

According to CBS, the US partner of the BBC, the overall death toll has reached 92, with additional fatalities reported in Mississippi, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, Kentucky, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, and other areas. Among the tragic incidents was an episode in Portland, Oregon, where three individuals were electrocuted after a power line fell onto their vehicle during powerful winds. Investigations into several other deaths, including a five-car crash in Kentucky and four fatalities in Illinois, are ongoing.

Seattle witnessed five deaths in just four days, primarily among presumed homeless individuals. In Mississippi, officials issued warnings urging people to drive only when necessary due to hazardous road conditions caused by the inclement weather. Additionally, rumors of potential storm-related water shortages prompted residents to store water in bathtubs, causing a temporary drop in water pressure and dry faucets in Jackson, the state’s capital.

Tennessee faces water-related challenges as well, with 400,000 residents under a boil water notice in the Memphis area due to broken pipes. Similar warnings have been issued in nearly 30 areas, with local utilities working tirelessly to address issues caused by freezing temperatures. Restaurants and bars in affected areas, like Memphis, are coping with the crisis by using bottled water for customer service.

While electricity has been largely restored in some areas affected by the winter storms, tens of thousands of people nationwide continue to endure power outages. As of Sunday evening, 45,000 residents in Oregon remained without power, and additional outages were reported in Pennsylvania, California, New Mexico, and Indiana. The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma, and treacherous driving conditions are expected in various regions on Monday.

Looking ahead, meteorologists anticipate a thaw after Monday, cautioning that warm air and rain could lead to flooding in parts of the Midwest and northeastern United States. By the end of the week, temperatures in eastern regions are expected to rise well above the average for this time of year, providing a respite from the recent harsh winter conditions.