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Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the US, millions of residents are without power

The toll of the worsening conditions included the delivery of new COVID-19 vaccine shipments, which were expected to be delayed until at least midweek. Massive power outages across Houston included a facility storing 8,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, leaving health officials scrambling to find takers at the same time authorities were pleading for people to stay home.

February 16, 2021 / 02:09 PM IST
A sprawling blast of winter weather across the U.S. is likely to blame for the deaths of two people in Texas, where an unusually snowy emergency on February 15 knocked out power for more than four million people, shut down grocery stores and air travel and closed schools ahead of frigid days still to come. (Image: AP)
A sprawling blast of winter weather across the U.S. is likely to blame for the deaths of two people in Texas, where an unusually snowy emergency on February 15 knocked out power for more than four million people, shut down grocery stores and air travel and closed schools ahead of frigid days still to come. (Image: AP)
Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the U.S. on February 14, prompting canceled flights, making driving perilous and reaching into areas as far south as Texas’ Gulf Coast, where snow and sleet were expected overnight. (Image: AP)
Snow and ice blanketed large swaths of the U.S. on February 14, prompting canceled flights, making driving perilous and reaching into areas as far south as Texas’ Gulf Coast, where snow and sleet were expected overnight. (Image: AP)
As rain fell in the Houston area, the temperature hovered near freezing. The storm has prompted officials in Houston, where temperatures were in the 70s (20s Celsius) earlier this week, to advise residents to prepare for power outages and hazardous roads that could be similar to those experienced in the wake of a Category 5 hurricane. (Image: AP)
As rain fell in the Houston area, the temperature hovered near freezing. The storm has prompted officials in Houston, where temperatures were in the 70s (20s Celsius) earlier this week, to advise residents to prepare for power outages and hazardous roads that could be similar to those experienced in the wake of a Category 5 hurricane. (Image: AP)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who issued a disaster declaration for all of the state’s 254 counties, warned on February 13: “All of Texas is facing an extremely dangerous winter storm.” (Image: AP)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who issued a disaster declaration for all of the state’s 254 counties, warned on February 13: “All of Texas is facing an extremely dangerous winter storm.” (Image: AP)
In a statement on February 14 night, President Joe Biden also declared an emergency in Texas and ordered federal assistance to aid state and local response efforts. The declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide assistance, equipment and resources to those affected by the storm. (Image: AP)
In a statement on February 14 night, President Joe Biden also declared an emergency in Texas and ordered federal assistance to aid state and local response efforts. The declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide assistance, equipment and resources to those affected by the storm. (Image: AP)
The toll of the worsening conditions included the delivery of new COVID-19 vaccine shipments, which were expected to be delayed until at least midweek. Massive power outages across Houston included a facility storing 8,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, leaving health officials scrambling to find takers at the same time authorities were pleading for people to stay home. State health officials said Texas, which was due to receive more than 400,000 additional vaccine doses this week, now does not expect deliveries to occur until at least February 17. (Image: AP)
The toll of the worsening conditions included the delivery of new COVID-19 vaccine shipments, which were expected to be delayed until at least midweek. Massive power outages across Houston included a facility storing 8,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, leaving health officials scrambling to find takers at the same time authorities were pleading for people to stay home. State health officials said Texas, which was due to receive more than 400,000 additional vaccine doses this week, now does not expect deliveries to occur until at least February 17. (Image: AP)
Several cities in the U.S. saw record lows as Arctic air remained over the central part of the country. In Minnesota, the Hibbing/Chisholm weather station registered minus 38 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 39 degrees Celsius), while Sioux Falls, South Dakota, dropped to minus 26 Fahrenheit (minus 26 degrees Celsius). (Image: AP)
Several cities in the U.S. saw record lows as Arctic air remained over the central part of the country. In Minnesota, the Hibbing/Chisholm weather station registered minus 38 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 39 degrees Celsius), while Sioux Falls, South Dakota, dropped to minus 26 Fahrenheit (minus 26 degrees Celsius). (Image: AP)
In Memphis, Tennessee, snow had started falling, and while main roads were still passable, lines were forming at grocery stores as people rushed to stock up. (Image: AP)
In Memphis, Tennessee, snow had started falling, and while main roads were still passable, lines were forming at grocery stores as people rushed to stock up. (Image: AP)
In Mississippi, sleet in Jackson and other central parts of the state left roads and bridges slick. Bill Parker, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Jackson, said up to three-quarters of an inch of ice could accumulate in central Mississippi, bringing the possibility of power outages or falling tree limbs. (Image: AP)
In Mississippi, sleet in Jackson and other central parts of the state left roads and bridges slick. Bill Parker, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Jackson, said up to three-quarters of an inch of ice could accumulate in central Mississippi, bringing the possibility of power outages or falling tree limbs. (Image: AP)
In Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the flow of electric power in the state, was asking customers to reduce electricity use as much as possible through February 16, including closing shades to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows and avoiding the use of large appliances. (Image: AP)
In Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the flow of electric power in the state, was asking customers to reduce electricity use as much as possible through February 16, including closing shades to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows and avoiding the use of large appliances. (Image: AP)
In Kansas, where wind chills dropped to as low as minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 34 degrees Celsius) in some areas, Governor Laura Kelly declared a state of disaster. (Image: AP)
In Kansas, where wind chills dropped to as low as minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 34 degrees Celsius) in some areas, Governor Laura Kelly declared a state of disaster. (Image: AP)
Associated Press
first published: Feb 16, 2021 02:09 pm

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