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‘Leave now’ if you plan Christmas travel

(quote, add context)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States faces a “dangerous and threatening” storm days before Christmas, President Joe Biden warned from the White House on Thursday. Americans planning to visit family and friends should leave immediately.

“It’s dangerous and threatening. Really very severe weather, going from Oklahoma to Wyoming to Maine… so pay attention to local warnings,” Biden said in the Oval Office.

“If you have travel plans, no kidding, leave now. I’m dispatching staff…if they’re planning to leave tomorrow, I’m telling them to leave now.” .”

A massive storm system is expected to bring blizzard conditions to the Great Lakes region, with up to 2 inches (5 cm) of rain, followed by rapid freezing on the East Coast and speeds of up to 60 mph (100 km/h). ) severe gusts of wind. Cold down to the Mexican border.

Biden, who plans to remain in Washington for the Christmas holidays on Sunday, said he would be briefed later by FEMA and the National Weather Service.

The White House has already spoken with governors of 26 states in the affected areas, he said. “It’s not like the snow days of childhood. This is serious,” Biden said. (Reporting by Nandita Bose; Writing by Heather Timmons; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)