Holiday travel upended as forecasters warn of ‘bomb cyclone’

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MISSION, Kansas (AP) — Thousands of flights were canceled and homeless shelters overflowed Thursday during one of the most dangerous holiday travel seasons the US has seen in decades. A “bomb cyclone” that could make the situation even worse before Christmas.

Frigid air is moving east through the central United States, with wind speed warnings affecting about 135 million people in the next few days, weather service meteorologist Ashton Robinson Cook said Thursday. Told. Places like Des Moines, Iowa can feel like minus 37 degrees and you can suffer frostbite within five minutes.

“This is nothing like the snow days when you were a kid,” President Joe Biden warned Thursday in the Oval Office after a briefing from federal officials. It’s a problem.”

Weather forecasters expect a bomb cyclone to develop near the Great Lakes from late Thursday through Friday, with atmospheric pressure dropping rapidly in a strong storm. According to Cook, it will stir up blizzard conditions, including high winds and snow.

Robert Oliver, an emergency manager for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, said tribal officials are working to clear roads to get propane and firewood to homes, but in some places it is more than 10 feet high. Said it was facing constant winds that caused it to drift.

Winter storms bring heavy snow and dangerous driving conditions. (Source: KSL/CNN)

“With this weather and the amount of equipment we have, it’s not enough,” Oliver said, halting rescues of people stranded at home as the hydraulic fluid of heavy equipment froze in -41 degrees Celsius. I mentioned that I had to. Zero wind chill.

He said five people have died in recent storms, including last week’s blizzard.

In Texas, temperatures were expected to drop sharply on Thursday, but state leaders warned of a February 2021 outbreak that overwhelmed the state’s power grid, allegedly causing hundreds of deaths. We promised that the storm would never repeat itself.

The cold wave reached El Paso and across the border to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. There, migrants camp outside or fill shelters while they wait for the United States to decide whether to lift restrictions that have prevented many from seeking asylum.

Elsewhere in the United States, officials are concerned about possible power outages, warning people to take precautions to protect the elderly, homeless and livestock, and to postpone travel if possible. Did. Some power companies were urging customers to lower their thermostats to save energy.

“This event could be life threatening if you get stuck,” officials reported dozens of crashes, according to an online post by Minnesota’s National Weather Service.

One person has died in Kansas City, Missouri, after a car overturned in an icy creek, police said.

Boston travelers head to their destinations ahead of time to weather the storm. (Source: WHDH/CNN)

The Michigan State Police prepared to deploy additional officers to help motorists. And along the Interstate 90 toll road in northern Indiana, a meteorologist had warned of blizzard conditions since Thursday night, so crews had him prepared to clear as much as a foot of snow. I was tidying up.

“If you want to go to someone’s house for the holidays and you haven’t left yet, it can quickly become dangerous,” said Rick Feder, chief operating officer of ITR Concessions, a private toll road operator. We may be exposed,” he said.

The Philadelphia school district, Pennsylvania’s largest, announced Friday that it will hold its final classes of the calendar year online instead of in-person as planned. In Allegheny County in the western part of the state, public works spokesman Brent Wasco said officials will deploy 33 salt trucks, but expected rain Thursday night and Friday morning will cause salinity to rise. He said road pretreatment was not an option because it would wash away.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 2,156 flights inside and outside the US had been canceled, according to tracking site FlightAware. Airlines also canceled 1,576 flights on Friday. Chicago and Denver airports had the most cancellations.

Among those whose flights were canceled was Ashley Sherrod, who had scheduled a flight from Nashville to Flint, Michigan, on Thursday afternoon. Sherrod is now considering whether to drive or take the risk of booking a flight for Saturday and fears it will be cancelled.

NWS says bomb cyclone is once-in-a-generation winter storm affecting most of US (CNN, WCCO, KAYU, WHSV, WSB)

“I got a call from my family asking me to come home for Christmas, but I also want them to be safe,” Sherrod said. “Christmas is starting to get worse for lack of a better word.”

Meanwhile, Amtrak has canceled more than 20 routes, mostly in the Midwest.

Some shelters in the Detroit area are already at capacity but still have space available.

Aisha Morrell-Ferguson, a spokeswoman for the family-only shelter COTS, told The Detroit News:

And in Portland, Oregon, authorities have opened four emergency shelters. In the city’s downtown, Stephen Venus tried to catch a light rail train to escape the cold after huddling on the sidewalk overnight in freezing temperatures.

“My toes are frozen,” he said, wrapping a sleeping bag around his head as he paused near a flimsy tent where another homeless had taken refuge.

Union Gospel Mission spokeswoman Courtney Dodds said her organization’s team is trying to convince people to seek shelter.

“It’s really easy for people to doze off and fall asleep and die from the cold.”

In Montana, temperatures dropped to minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 46 degrees Celsius) at Elk Park, a trail on the Continental Divide. Schools and some ski resorts were closed, leaving thousands without power.

Near Big Sandy, Montana, rancher Rich Ross said he wasn’t too worried about his 3,500 pregnant cows weathering the cold weather, saying, “They’re very resilient animals.” said.

In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine warned of a “unique and dangerous” condition of a rapid statewide freeze on Thursday night. He also urged people to check their neighbors and loved ones.

In Buffalo, New York, notorious for its snowfall, heavy lake-induced snowfall, gusts of up to 65 miles per hour (105 km/h), whiteouts and the possibility of major blackouts have led forecasters to call it a “once-in-a-generation storm.” ” was predicted. Mayor Byron Brown has urged people to stay home, and the NHL has postponed the Buffalo Sabers’ home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Denver, also accustomed to winter storms, was the coldest in 32 years on Thursday when morning temperatures at the airport dropped to minus 24 degrees Celsius (minus 31 degrees Celsius).

A coastal flood warning was issued for Thursday in Charleston, South Carolina. A popular tourist destination with mild winters, the region endured strong winds and freezing temperatures.

Vancouver International Airport experienced delays and cancellations earlier in the week as winter weather extended to Canada. A major winter storm is expected in Toronto Friday through Saturday, with winds of up to 60 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) and snow blowing, limiting visibility, Environment Canada said.


Breed was reported from Little Rock, Arkansas. His Associated Press journalists who contributed to this report are Dee-Ann Durbin of Detroit, Gillian Flaccus of Portland, Oregon, Stephen Groves of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Rick Callahan of Indianapolis, Claudia Lauer of Philadelphia, Washington It was Jackie Quinn and Zeke Miller.

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