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21 Jan, 2024 19:28

Scores dead as frigid conditions ravage US – CBS

Weather-related fatalities have been reported in at least nine US states in recent days
Scores dead as frigid conditions ravage US – CBS

At least 89 people have died in weather-related incidents across the United States in recent days, a report by CBS News said on Sunday, as dangerously cold conditions continue to impact various parts of the country.

Tens of millions of people across the US once again faced bitterly-cold conditions this weekend as a blast of frigid Arctic air traveled southwards from Canada, sending temperatures plummeting to record lows and blanketing sections of the country with thick layers of ice and snow.

How cold it is varies by region but in Chicago, for example, wind chills dropped the temperatures to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 degrees Celsius). Elsewhere, in states like Texas, Alabama and Georgia, temperatures hovered in or around 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.6 degrees Celsius) last week.

Tennessee’s Department of Health has confirmed at least 25 fatalities associated with the weather conditions over the past several days, CBS said, while another 16 have died in various incidents in Oregon in the western US. This includes three people who were killed in the state when a tree fell on their car.

Oregon has declared a state of emergency after more than 45,000 people were left without power as a result of storms.

Deaths have also been reported in various other states, including Illinois, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Washington, New York, New Jersey and more. Various other fatalities – including a person killed in a five-car crash in Kentucky – are being investigated to identify if the adverse weather conditions were the primary cause.

In the state of Mississippi, officials have told residents to be aware of hazardous conditions on the roads, and to “drive only if necessary.”

Bitterly cold, below average temperatures are expected to extend into the coming week, forecasters say. “Arctic air will combine with moisture from the Gulf to create an icy mess from Oklahoma to Illinois,” meteorologist Molly McCollum said. “Travel will be treacherous on Monday.”

The eastern half of the United States will likely see its coldest weather yet this season early in the week, with dangerous wind chills and a hard freeze warning – where temperatures stay at or below 29 degrees Fahrenheit (-1.6 degrees celsius) for an extended period of time – issued as far south as northern Florida.

There is some respite in sight, however, as temperatures are expected to rise by midweek – though, according to the Weather Channel, this could swiftly thaw ice and snow, leading to an increased risk of flooding in some areas.

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