White and dangerous Christmas due to the storm in the United States

White and dangerous Christmas due to the storm in the United States

President Joe Biden summed it up well when he issued the alert last Wednesday: “This is not like a snow day when you were a kid. This is serious”.

And boy is it being.

More than a million US users were left without electricity this Friday, hundreds of thousands saw their flights delayed or canceled and, ultimately, around 60% of the population suffers some setback in these hours before Christmas. The cause: a powerful and giant explosive cyclone or cyclone bomb of snow, wind and temperatures below -20 degrees Celsius that has hit the country since Thursday.

More than 200 million people, under alert


A driver crosses a flooded street at high tide during a winter storm in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on Friday.


The exceptional atmospheric explosion, originating in the Arctic, gave rise to rapid drops in temperatures in the eastern part of the national territory while a powerful snow storm practically paralyzed life in the Great Lakes region. Blizzards with sometimes hurricane-force speeds swept across wide areas of the US map, from the states of Washington and Montana in the northwest to Georgia in the southeast.

More than 200 million people were under alert on the second day of the storm, according to the National Weather Service. The department’s advisory map featured one of the highest densities of markings with winter weather hazard warnings “in all history.”


This satellite image provided by NOAA of the explosive cyclogenesis sweeping the US.


If throughout Thursday 2,400 national and international flights were cancelled, at noon on Friday the cancellations already totaled 3,400. Some airports, such as Seattle-Tacoma International, closed runways. How many thousands of families are seeing their family reunion plans ruined to celebrate the promised first Christmas without extraordinary risks after two years of pandemic?

The blackout in the electrical service affected 1.4 million users between homes and businesses on Friday afternoon, according to the PowerOutage.us website, which tracks the reports of this public service. Most of the outages were taking place in the east, due to gusts of wind that brought down trees and power pylons.


Vehicles in floodwaters during a winter storm along the Hudson River bank in Piermont, New York, on Friday

MIKE SEGAR / Reuters

In the northeast the situation is critical. In Maine, gusts reached 113 kilometers per hour along the coast in the morning. And on top of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, the highest peak in the region, 130 miles per hour.

Vermont residents were warned by authorities to prepare for “multi-day” power outages before power could be fully restored.

And on the roads of half the country, it is simply not possible to circulate since Thursday night. Or at least not without serious risk to life.

It’s a white and dangerous Christmas in America.


Heavy snowfall on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, New York

Derek Gee/AP

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