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Winter storm causing flight cancelations, power outages across the US

Winter Weather
Winter Weather
Posted at 5:57 AM, Dec 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-23 15:04:11-05

More than 200 million people from Washington state to Florida are under wind chill alerts thanks to a massive winter storm that's brought frigid temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, the National Weather Service said.

Thousands of flights have been canceled, which is causing major headaches at airports across the nation.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ashton Robinson Cook told the Associated Press that the frigid air moving across the nation would make places like Des Moines, Iowa, feel like minus 37 degrees.

Conditions like that could make it possible to suffer frostbite in less than five minutes, the news outlet reported.

Officials in Kentucky said Friday that the hazardous weather has also been claimed to be responsible for the deaths of several people, WLEX reported.

In a tweet Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear said officials have had "reports of a third fatality on our roads."

WLEX reported that Beshear confirmed that another victim was an "unhoused and unsheltered person."

Roads across the U.S. are being closed because of heavy snow and ice.

In South Dakota, Rosebud Sioux Tribe emergency manager Robert Oliver told the Associated Press that winds had created drifts over 10 feet in some places, making it impossible to get vital things like firewood to residents.

The storm has also caused more than 1 million power outages across the U.S.

According to poweroutages.us, more than 176,000 people are without power in North Carolina. In Virginia, close to 150,000 people are without power as of early Friday afternoon.

For officials in Texas, they said what happened in February 2021, when the state's power grid system was overwhelmed due to an ice storm, won't happen again, the news outlet reported.

Pennsylvania's largest school system moved its classes online because of the winter storm, while additional troopers with the Michigan State Police were being deployed to help stranded motorists, the Associated Press reported.

The storm is also causing headaches at airports across the nation.

According to the tracking site FlightAware, 7,200 flights had been canceled as of Friday afternoon. More than 17,000 flights have also been delayed, according to the site.