Winter storms: Another system is bringing more misery to hardest-hit states


This storm aside, brutally cold weather continues across the Central and Southern US, straining utilities and helping leave more than 3.7 million homes and businesses without electricity — nearly 3.3 million of which werein Texas, according to utility tacker PowerOutage.US.
In Houston, Angelina Villarreal was trying to stay warm Wednesday in her chilly living room, with power out since Monday, and outside temperatures hovered near freezing.

Her bedroom flooded, thanks to a burst pipe, she told CNN.

“It’s just me, my mom, my sister and my pets trying to keep warm and eat whatever we have here that hasn’t gotten spoiled,” 16-year-old Villarreal wrote on Twitter.
More than 100 million people are under winter weather alerts extending from Texas to New England. On Wednesday, snow and freezing rain are expected to bring perilous travel conditions and more power outages from the south-central US into the central East Coast.
Freezing rain already was falling in parts of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana on Wednesday morning, in some places leaving streets and sidewalks coated in ice and making travel difficult.

Weather has led to at least 26 deaths across the country, including three people who died in carbon monoxide related incidents and one driver who hit a snowplow.

In Texas, officials say high demand and freezing conditions have crippled utilities’ power generation since Sunday, causing rolling power blackouts or continuous outages, sending many people to fireplaces, vehicles or other means to stay warm.

On Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service:

— 3 to 6 inches of snow could fall from Arkansas and the Mid-South to the central Appalachians.

— Significant ice accumulations are forecast in parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia.

“In areas … with these devastating ice accumulations, residents can expect dangerous travel conditions, numerous power outages and extensive tree damage,” the weather service wrote.
By Thursday, the storm is expected to drop snow from the Mid-Atlantic to New England.
The poor weather, meanwhile, will cause widespread delays in Covid-19 vaccine deliveries around the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Spending the night in a car for warmth

In Texas, many residents have scrambled for alternative heating with electricity out continuously or intermittently for days.

In San Antonio, Jordan Orta and her 2-year-old son slept in her car Tuesday night because their powerless home was so cold, as outside temperatures dipped into the 20s. Her home was without power from Tuesday night until early Wednesday, after earlier outages.

Water service also has been unreliable, so when she heard service was about to shut off again, “we filled up pitchers and tubs of water,” she told CNN. “I went to (a store on Tuesday) and there was no water left, so if we lose water, it’s all we got until who knows when.”

“We have a gas stove, so we’ve been able to warm up leftovers and cook what we have,” Orta said.

Vehicles driving on snow-covered Interstate 10 Monday in Houston.

Power lines fall and water lines break

In Kentucky, parts of which was expected to receive several inches snow by Wednesday evening, already had more than 90,000 power outages, thanks in part to ice storms and snow earlier in the week.

In eastern Kentucky’s Montgomery County, James Mitchell’s house lost electricity twice this week.

Some eastern Kentucky residents still might not have electricity by week’s end, Gov. Andy Beshear said. That’s because crews have a lot of work to do to repair power lines damaged by the ice storm earlier this week, state emergency management official Michael Dossett said.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, more than 100 water main and service line breaks were reported Tuesday due to freezing conditions, according to the Waterline Break Board on the City of Tulsa’s website.

“Water line breaks in Tulsa are creating dangerous conditions,” Tulsa police tweeted with a photo of a parked patrol car that became stuck when a water line broke and the water froze around the vehicle’s wheels.

“A series of historic storms has hit our communities, bringing three waves of snow, ice and wind. As each storm rolls in, more ice builds up on trees and power lines, that causes more and more trees and power lines to fall,” the company said.
People enter a Covid-19 testing site Saturday in Seattle, Washington.
Travel conditions have also led to thousands of canceled flights, according to

Weather delays Covid-19 vaccinations

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he believed his city would temporarily “run out” of doses by Thursday, at least in part because of weather-related shipment delays.

Nationwide, “shipping partners are working to deliver vaccine where possible … but the adverse weather is expected to continue to impact shipments” out of FedEx facilities in Memphis and Louisville, “which serve as vaccine shipping hubs for multiple states,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said Wednesday.

CNN’s Alisha Ebrahimji, Judson Jones, Dave Hennen, Michael Guy, Chris Boyette and Melissa Alonso contributed to this report. 2021-02-17 19:23:20


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