A powerful icy storm system is sweeping across the US, resulting in temperatures dropping to -29C and lower as well as deaths, power cuts and massive travel disruption.
A severe winter storm warning has been issued by the Government’s National Weather Service, and forecasters say the storm is heading for Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic next.
Yesterday, the mercury dropped to -29C in Montana and South Dakota during the day, while officials have warned residents in northwest Minnesota to brace for temperatures as low as -45C with the impact of wind chill.
What was described as a “complex winter storm” affected much of the central and eastern parts of the country this weekend, and the storm warning was due to remain in place until 10am EST (3pm GMT) on Monday in some areas.
Meanwhile, the NWS also issued a “hard freeze warning” for large parts of the Midwest, and freeze warnings for the west coast.
Four people have died in the San Francisco Bay area of California as a result of hypothermia, and at least six deaths in traffic-related incidents were blamed on the severe weather across several states.
One person died in North Texas after a pick-up truck lost control on an icy bridge.
In Virginia, state Emergency Management spokeswoman Laura Southard said the storm had the potential to be a “historic ice event”.
“This forecast is very concerning to us,” Ms Southard said yesterday. “I’ve worked multiple disasters, but I’ve never worked an ice storm with a forecast like this. It’s just really important for everybody to take extra precautions.”
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