Winter ice storms have left more than 300,000 businesses and homes without power. The storms covered power lines and trees with layers of ice from the Midwest to the East Coast. Authorities said many residents will remain in the dark through Christmas.
Brad Hoving, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the ice weighed down trees and power lines, knocking out electricity in a widespread area. He said many residents between Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan, could be without power until Thursday.
With Christmas in two days, Hoving said the “major ice storm” is “a big deal” for many Michigan residents.
Adding to the headache, NBC News reports that more than 15,000 flights were either delayed or cancelled throughout the US. Winter storms are also responsible for at least 14 deaths in Canada and the US.
Meteorologist Kevin Roth said the winter ice storms have ended. However, travel and holiday celebrations will be difficult for many families:
“It will be a rough start to the week getting to grandma’s house… For anyone thinking of taking to the roads in the Northeast, based on the forecasts it would be better to leave it until Tuesday.”
Ice was not the only issue associated with the winter storm system. As reported by the Associated Press, unseasonably high temperatures, melting snow, and heavy rain, caused major flooding throughout Ohio and Kentucky. In Kentucky, five people were killed when their vehicles became submerged in flood waters.
In Arkansas, an EF2 tornado killed one and injured three others in St. Francis County. A woman was killed, while her daughter and granddaughter were hospitalized for their injuries. Another man, who was found injured in an open field, was also found to have non life-threatening injuries.
Although the winter ice storms have wrecked havoc in the US, people will still be traveling to spend time with family and friends for the holiday. Authorities advise anyone traveling to be aware of traffic and weather conditions.
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