A sequence of severe winter storms that tormented the eastern United States and Canada regions has caused at least four fatalities and rendered more than 500,000 households without power. The US experiences deadly tornadoes, snow, and flooding.
In Florida, numerous tornadoes were reported; strong winds caused residential and automobile overturning and collapse. According to FlightAware data, Tuesday saw the cancellation of over 1,300 flights into and out of the United States.
Due to inclement weather, Vice President Kamala Harris’ aircraft was forced to deviate.
According to a Mrs. Harris spokesperson, “unfavorable weather conditions” forced her Atlanta-to-Virginia return flight rather than the neighboring state of Maryland en route to Washington, DC.
Over 630,000 households in the eastern United States, from Florida to New York State, were without power as of Tuesday evening.
Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a state of emergency in 49 counties of Florida in the aftermath of severe hurricane damage caused by blown-off homes and downed power lines.
As of Tuesday morning, reports indicated that twelve tornadoes had struck Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, resulting in substantial destruction and, in certain regions, necessitating search and rescue efforts.
Over twenty-two million individuals were issued tornado watches.
Reportedly, an 81-year-old woman was slain in Houston County, Alabama, when a tornado destroyed mobile homes and RVs in the area.
Two others were critically injured and one person was slain in Claremont, North Carolina, according to officials, when a severe storm passed through a mobile home park.
According to officials, a fatality occurred in Clayton County, Georgia, when a vehicle was crushed to the ground after a tree collapsed across a highway.
Furthermore, according to local officials cited by the WVTM news station, one man was fatally crushed by a downed tree in Birmingham, Alabama, on Tuesday morning.A Panama City, Florida, resident who resides directly opposite a wind-driven collapsed house described the sound as “a freight train colliding with a brick wall.”
“That was the magnitude of the noise,” he reported to CBS News, the United States affiliate of the BBC.
In addition, the cyclones caused impassable roads in Panama City, tore off building roofs, and delivered baseball-sized hail.
The city’s downtown area has been placed under a curfew until 06:00EST (11:00GMT) on Wednesday.
“Beyond dark, no one should be moving in this area,” the Bay County Sheriff’s Office advised via Facebook.
The National Weather Service (NWS) warned that the area and other parts of the eastern United States are about to experience more intense cyclones.
Additional intense cyclones can potentially strike regions of Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina, delivering destructive wind gusts and hail.
In addition to winds of up to 50 mph (80 kph), flooding from the Florida Panhandle to southern Maine could result from excessive rainfall in other eastern regions of the United States.
On Tuesday evening, four to five inches of precipitation had already fallen in South Carolina, flooding several regions.
In the interior of the United States, more than one foot of snow descended, stranding motorists and disrupting presidential campaigning in Iowa.
A winter storm warning has been issued in Canada, extending from southern Ontario, near Windsor, to central Quebec, where there is anticipated to be over 1 foot of snowfall.
According to Poweroutages.us, a severe and uncommon blizzard in the Pacific Northwest region caused significant damage to trees and interrupted power to more than 25,000 customers in the state of Washington, in addition to thousands of individuals in the Canadian province of British Columbia situated further north. Avalanche warnings were issued, mountain passages were closed, and ferries were halted due to snowfall and high winds.
Until Wednesday, a coastal inundation advisory is in effect in New Jersey. Officials were warned not to “underestimate” the hurricane by state governor Phil Murphy, who declared a state of emergency.
Governor Kathy Hochul of New York State issued a dire warning that the storm could be “life-threatening,” given that the anticipated precipitation would combine with the snow already covering the ground, potentially causing sudden flooding.
Authorities evacuated approximately 2,000 migrants from a municipal tent shelter situated on an airfield in Brooklyn to high school gymnasiums to pass the storms.
An excessive accumulation of snow and ice caused a temporary ground stop at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, one of the busiest in the country, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A tornado warning also prompted a halt at Tampa International Airport in Florida.
States such as Nebraska and Kansas have also experienced road travel disruptions due to severe weather, with state patrols responding to hundreds of weather-related incidents.
A Kansas state trooper on social media advised, “Please remain at home.” “It’s getting to the point where we will not be able to rescue you if you get stuck because we are having trouble getting around.”
The NWS predicts that the extreme weather will moderate slightly as we enter Wednesday. However, snow showers remain a possibility in some of the regions of the central and northeastern United States that have already been impacted.
The NWS continued to issue flood warnings from Louisiana to Maine on Wednesday morning, affecting at least 15 states along the Atlantic coast of the United States.