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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Northern US hit by severe winter storm with snow, ice, wind, and frigid temperatures

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ST. LOUIS — A massive winter storm ‍swept the northern U.S. on Friday, with blinding snow in some places, freezing rain in others, and bitter⁣ cold temperatures ‌and ⁣whipping winds across several states.

Avalanches closed roads in northern ‌Utah. There are another 2 to 4 feet of snow forecast for parts ⁢of Utah’s mountains between Friday and Monday morning. In Idaho, a ​man was believed dead after an avalanche in that state’s​ backcountry. A Wisconsin man died ‍while​ snow-blowing his driveway. Political‌ leaders in Illinois implored Texas Gov. Greg ⁤Abbot to stop‌ sending migrants to Chicago, ​which⁢ is ⁣on ‍the verge ​of dangerous weather.

Heavy snow and strong winds made driving ⁢virtually impossible in parts of Iowa, so much so that Republican presidential hopefuls called ‍off​ campaign events. “Black ice” ​from freezing rain caused wrecks ⁣and brought Kansas City, Missouri, to‌ a standstill. Flight cancellations‌ were⁤ common, including more than 1,000‌ at Chicago’s airports.

In Idaho, two men⁢ were rescued⁣ after ⁣being ⁢caught in an avalanche Thursday afternoon near the Montana ⁢border, but a third man was missing and presumed dead. The​ U.S. Air Force assisted in the⁣ search and rescue. ⁣Authorities weren’t sure what⁤ the men were‍ doing in the area⁢ that had been under an​ avalanche danger⁢ warning​ for several days.

The ⁣Idaho avalanche came a day‌ after the⁤ first U.S. avalanche⁢ death of the season was reported‍ in California on Wednesday.

The​ Milwaukee⁣ County Medical Examiner’s office⁢ said ⁤Friday⁢ afternoon that it was⁤ investigating the death of a 69-year-old man who became unresponsive while snow-blowing his driveway in Franklin, ⁤a Milwaukee suburb. No further‍ information was released.

Republican‌ candidates campaigning ⁣ahead of‌ Monday’s Iowa caucuses were contending with a blizzard warning covering ‍most of the state. Nikki Haley’s campaign canceled three Friday events and said ‌it would⁤ be hosting “telephone ⁤town halls.” Ron‌ DeSantis’ campaign postponed ⁣events in Marshalltown and Clear Lake.

The Iowa State Patrol posted photos of an icy wreck. “Please, don’t put yourself or others ‍in danger,” the agency wrote. “The road conditions are extremely dangerous!”

Blizzard warnings ⁢were issued‍ in some places, including southwestern Minnesota‌ and the Green Bay ‌area ⁣of Wisconsin. Forecasts⁢ for the Milwaukee area predicted heavy snow stretching⁣ into Saturday morning with ⁣wind gusts up to ‍40 mph.

The cold was the ‌bigger concern in the Dakotas. It was 11 degrees⁤ below zero Fahrenheit in Bismarck, ⁢North Dakota, on Friday morning, and forecasters warned the weekend will get even worse. It⁢ could reach 20 below Fahrenheit by early ⁢Sunday.

Chicago ​is expecting ⁤several‍ inches⁢ of snow ⁤through⁢ the weekend, with​ wind⁤ chills well below zero.⁢ Advocates worried about the growing population of migrants sent​ up from the ‌U.S.-Mexico border —‌ more than 26,000 have arrived since ⁤last year. By ‌Friday, ⁣dozens were staying in eight parked “warming ⁤buses” ‌to avoid‌ sleeping outside while⁢ they await ⁤space in city-run shelters.

Angelo Travieso, a ​Venezuelan bused up from‌ Texas, wore a light jacket⁢ and sandals with⁢ socks after sleeping on one⁤ of the buses.

“I slept sitting because there is almost no space left,” he said. “The buses are also small and ⁢you practically have to stay inside because of the heating, because it is deadly ⁤cold outside.”

Mayor Brandon Johnson said the ​city will⁢ suspend plans ⁤to enforce a 60-day cap on shelter stays for asylum seekers through at least Jan. 22‌ because of the ⁤cold⁤ snap. Meanwhile, ‍Illinois Gov. J.B. ‌Pritzker released a letter pleading with Abbott.

“As we grapple with the existing challenges⁢ of​ your ongoing manufactured crisis, the next few days are a threat to the families and children you are sending here,” Pritzker wrote. “I am pleading with ⁤you ‌to at least pause these⁣ transports to save lives.”

Temperatures were below zero ⁤Fahrenheit⁣ across Montana on Friday morning with⁢ wind chills as⁤ low as minus 57 Fahrenheit in places along​ the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains and in the⁢ central part of the‍ state.

At the Double Cross Cattle ​Company, a ranch near Roberts, Montana, Tyson Ropp used an axe ‍to chop through inches of ice covering a stock tank so that​ his bulls could ⁢drink ⁤water. ​He used a feed‍ truck to spread extra hay for his cows,⁤ a process ⁢he planned to repeat‍ later Friday.

Temperatures were expected to drop ⁤overnight to minus 28 Fahrenheit, so Ropp said he’d ​spread straw on the ground, ⁤somewhere out of the wind,⁣ for the cattle to rest and stay dry.

“It’s going to​ get pretty chilly tonight,” he said, “We’ve got a couple hidey holes they can get⁤ into and bed​ down ⁣and hunker down⁢ together‌ and stay‍ warm.”

Ropp shrugged‍ off the cold. “It’s ⁤just ​Montana,” he‍ said.

Near-record cold in Kansas City will make for a frigid NFL playoff game ⁣Saturday night, when the Chiefs host ⁤Miami. The game-time temperature could be below zero. Fans will be allowed to ⁤bring ‍in blankets for their laps and ⁣cardboard to⁣ put under their feet to stay warm. The ⁣University of Kansas Health System set up a clinic and several first aid stations at Arrowhead‍ Stadium.

“We could really get busy,” emergency⁤ medicine physician Dr. Dennis Allin said at a briefing on ‍Friday.

Another playoff ⁣game will face winter’s wrath on Sunday. Fans in Buffalo will contend ⁣with up to a foot of snow and fierce winds as the Bills host Pittsburgh.

Other areas of the Northeast​ had ⁤flooding concerns.‌ Emergency responders helped evacuate some residents​ from their homes in Paterson, New Jersey, early Friday as the Passaic River⁣ started overflowing its banks. The new storm, combined ‍with one earlier in the ⁢week, created flooding worries in ‍Maine and New ​Hampshire, too.

The South ⁢wasn’t immune. Severe ​storms with winds reaching 70 mph stretched⁤ across⁤ Mississippi.

Arctic air is expected to arrive in the South by this weekend. The Mississippi⁣ Emergency Management⁤ Agency urged residents to prepare for ice, frigid temperatures and possible prolonged power outages.

Abbott on Friday encouraged Texans to get‍ ready,‌ too. Temperatures will reach only ⁢into the 30s Sunday through‌ Tuesday, with ice in the forecast for Monday. But Abbott said the cold and ice “will not be anything close to‌ what we experienced during winter storm Uri.” That storm in February 2021 caused​ over ⁢3 million Texans ⁣to lose power.

Volunteers and city ⁤leaders in several places were ⁣worried about the homeless.

Portland,‌ Oregon, is more accustomed to winter rain, but snow was in the forecast. Tyrone McDougald wore a long-eared, ​leopard-style ⁢hat ⁢on ⁢Thursday as he sorted through racks ⁣of warm clothes at a ⁣homeless ⁣service center. He was already wearing multiple ‌layers,​ but with no roof ‍of his own, he grabbed two more coats to help him‍ face a⁣ bitter cold snap ‍arriving in the Northwest.

“I’m hoping that I can get⁣ in a shelter,”‍ he ​said. “That would relieve a lot of the burden.”

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Truth Media Network
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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is absolutely dreadful! I can’t believe winter is still punishing us with such harsh conditions. Stay safe and warm, everyone!

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