A wave of very violent frost accompanied by violent rain hit the United States with serious consequences. It is one of the most intense cold and frost waves ever recorded in the United States in the last fifty years. Unfortunately, the consequences of bad weather have been dramatic in many countries. Texas under snow and freezing temperatures and millions of Americans without electricity, the cold spell that has already claimed at least 20 lives continued according to US media on Tuesday in the US, where three people were also killed in a hurricane.
At the moment the toll, unfortunately still provisional, and is being updated. Most of them are homeless, homeless people who have not been able to find an escape from the wave of frost that has invaded the whole of the United States from coast to coast. Particularly violent was the cold wave that hit Maine on the east coast with temperatures significantly below freezing, storm surges, and violent storms.
The frost hit almost everywhere, not only on the coasts but also inside the country, in areas that are usually not used to dealing with such cold temperatures. Like Texas, for example. From Austin, the capital of the Lone Star State, there is talk of frosts, serious traffic accidents, and sensational blackouts. At least 4 million people would be left without electricity and with serious problems with supply and heating for at least two days.
A violent tornado struck in the north-eastern area of North Carolina causing three victims and injuring ten, two of them in very serious conditions, and at least 200 displaced. Other emergencies related to bad weather were declared in Alabama, Oklahoma, Kansas, Mississippi, and Oregon, where more than 300,000 people were left without electricity. In Mississippi, residents wake up to discover the landscapes of this other southern state covered in snow and ice.
Authorities have been slow to clear roads in the south where snowfalls are uncommon and usually of little use. According to US media, more than 20 deaths have been linked to bad winter weather, and authorities are urging Americans to pay attention. The National Weather Service warned Tuesday that “freezing air and very cold winds will continue in the Great Plains” in the heart of the United States “and in the Mississippi Valley until mid-week.”
Also, the bulletin added that a new winter storm will appear in the southern plains on Tuesday. To the north, Chicago was under a thick blanket of snow and locals were trying to free their cars. The NWS clarified on Monday that the cold spell that hit the continental United States is associated with a combination of high freezing temperatures that endure the Arctic and very active low temperatures with waves of precipitation.
“We have seen nothing like this honestly in Texas, that has covered the state as the storm has. It increased demand to an extreme, extraordinary height, and then the storm also made it difficult for the supply to be provided.” ERCOT CEO Bill Magness told local WFAA.
More than 3.1 million homes and businesses remained without electricity in Texas as of about 6 p.m. EST Tuesday, according to poweroutage.us. The arctic air that poured into Texas resulted in a record-breaking demand for power that caused the state’s electric grid to fail. Suppliers had planned to use rolling blackouts, but the system was overwhelmed. An estimated 75% of Texas power generation capacity was impacted, according to KTRK.
In addition to Texas, according to Poweroutage.us, there are nearly 600,000 people without electricity in Oregon, Louisiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. These extreme conditions created at least four tornadoes, one of which fell in the middle of the night in south-east United States, North Carolina, killing three people and injuring ten.