75 million people on alert for winter storm and freezing temperatures in the US

The winter storm has put 75 million people in the United States under alert. 33 states are expected to be affected by the winter storm an...

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  • The winter storm has put 75 million people in the United States under alert.
  • 33 states are expected to be affected by the winter storm and freezing temperatures.
  • At least 11 alerts remain active due to the winter storm.

75 million residents in 33 states from the Dakotas to Georgia and Maine remain under alert until Monday, January 17 due to a huge winter storm and freezing temperatures, reported ABC News and The Sun.

At least 11 winter weather watches and warnings are in effect, including a wind chill advisory for much of the northeastern United States. Wind chill — the temperature you feel — was as low as minus 40 degrees F early Saturday, said ABC News.

11 winter storm alerts remain active

winter storm

A winter storm warning is also in effect from Arkansas to Pennsylvania due to a storm that has already dumped more than a foot of snow across North Dakota and Iowa. As the storm heads southeast toward the mid-Mississippi states on Saturday and on Sunday, and then to the northeast from Sunday into Monday, more snow, ice, and rain are expected.

3 to 6 inches of snow is possible in parts of the South. Atlanta, Georgia has the potential to see its first measurable snowfall in four years. 15 to 18 inches of snow can be expected in the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, ABC News reported.

How much snow could fall?

winter storm

The interior Northeast through New England is expected to receive 15 to 18 inches of snow. Northeast coastal areas including Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston could see up to 3 inches of snow, though that will likely fade when the snow turns to rain early on Monday, January 17.

According to weather experts, the wind chill this Sunday morning will be in the single digits from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston, and it will drop below freezing in northern New England. Strong and gusty winds are also a concern across a wide swath of the South, with wind watches in effect from Texas to the Carolinas. They also expect isolated power outages and wind damage.

Thousands of flights canceled due to winter storm

Thousands of flights canceled

According to the ABC News report FlightAware has reported the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights in the United States on Sunday. Almost 1,100 at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina were cancelled. Other affected airports include North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Dangerous road conditions, as well as power outages, are expected throughout the weekend. The Interstate 95 corridor will likely see a wintry mix of rain, snow and ice from Sunday through Monday, the ABC News report warned.

Several states have already declared an emergency

Several states have already declared an emergency.

Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the winter storm on Friday. West Virginia declared a “state of preparedness” throughout the state, ABC reported.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to pick up essentials on Saturday and not hit the roads on Sunday and Monday as “significant impacts” are expected across the state. “This storm is a threat. Up to a foot of snow is expected to fall in the mountains and foothills. And in central North Carolina freezing rain and sleet will fall in addition to some snow. Heavy rain and flash flooding are expected in the eastern part of our state, along with strong winds and gusts,” the governor said during a press conference on Saturday.

Consequences that the winter storm could have

Consequences of the phenomenon
A person removes snow during a winter storm on January 6, 2022, in Walker, Michigan. (Joel Bissell/MLive.com/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)

Significant ice buildup is also possible in parts of the Carolinas, which could lead to numerous power outages, widespread tree damage and impacts to ground travel. An ice storm warning is in effect for portions of northern South Carolina.

In preparation 10,000 Duke Energy workers are being activated to help restore power. The company estimates that 750,000 customers in North and South Carolina could lose power due to the winter storm and warned customers Saturday to “prepare for potential multi-day power outages.”

Authorities are prepared for the effects of the winter storm

Authorities are ready

The state has also activated 200 National Guardsmen to help with transportation needs in western and central counties. And more than 1,200 employees and contractors of the state Department of Transportation have spread 2.5 million gallons of salt on roads since Thursday and have prepared more than 400 trucks ready to respond after the storm, said the secretary of the Department of Transportation Eric Boyette.

Boyette also warned of likely delays in response times due to the wide impact of the winter storm across the state, as well as labor shortages due to Covid-19. “Travel could be greatly affected for several days after the storm,” he said, urging people to stay off the roads. “We will do everything we can to reopen the roads as soon as possible,” reported ABC News.

Governor of Georgia sends a message

Governor of Georgia sends message
A tractor stands before a pile of salt used to prevent road icing during a snowstorm, at GDOT’s Maintenance Activities Unit headquarters on Jan. 14, 2022, in Forest Park, Georgia. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

According to the ABC News report, the Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp said that the agencies are preparing to mobilize and deploy resources as necessary in the state, as well as to help neighboring states.

Atlanta is also bracing for the aftermath of the winter storm. Mayor Andre Dickens told Good Morning America’s Elwyn Lopez: “We have 40 teams ready to go. We have 300 employees. We’re trying to get ahead of ourselves.”

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