As snow and ice continued to wreak havoc across the U.S. Saturday afternoon, more than 700,000 people were without power, and authorities in states including Texas and Virginia were warning residents to stay off the roads as much as possible.
More than 100 million people were under a winter weather advisory Saturday coast-to-coast, the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center said. That could continue through Tuesday.
“A very active weekend is ahead for winter weather as large parts of the U.S. experience concerns for extreme cold temperatures, heavy snow and ice,” the weather organization said on Twitter. “Coast to coast from the Pacific Northwest to the Mid-Atlantic, there is an array of winter weather headlines in effect. Stay safe!”
Across eight states – including Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia – more than 700,000 people were without power Saturday afternoon, according to Poweroutage.us.
Ice storm warnings were in effect for portions Oregon, Maryland and Virginia, where ice accumulations could reach one quarter to one half inch, the NWS said.
“Power outages and tree damage are expected due to the ice. Travel could be nearly impossible. The combination of the icing forecast and the snow and ice already on trees will make for a very dangerous situation,” the NWS said.
The outages in the Northwest could extend for some throughout the weekend, said Elizabeth Lattanner, a spokeswoman for PGE, one of the major electricity providers in the region.
Many ice-laden trees in Oregon snapped under the wintry weight, falling on power lines and causing some transformers to blow out in showers of blue and orange sparks. By noon on Saturday, more than 1,200 PGE power lines were down, Lattanner said.
“The weather that set in yesterday and continued overnight has left extensive damage with hundreds of thousands of Oregonians without power,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wrote on Twitter, announcing that she had declared a state of emergency across the Portland region in the Willamette Valley,
Las Vegas was dealing with another weather event Saturday afternoon: NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning in the Clark County region, warning of possible wind gusts up to 70 mph, pea sized hail and blowing dust. Multiple power outages were reported throughout the region.
In Nashville, icy roads caused a traffic pile-up involving 21 vehicles and causing at least 12 minor injuries on Interstate 24 Saturday morning, according to the Nashville Metro Police Department. Claudia Arakas, 22, was taking her cat to the vet when she slammed on the breaks, but her car didn’t stop.
“I didn’t have much control, but I took my foot off the gas and tried to do my best to steer. I can’t even tell you how I managed to get out,” Arakas said. “I was watching cars crash in front of me, while also maneuvering – oh my gosh, it was insane.”
The Nashville Fire Department, which dispatched at least…
Go to the news source: Snow, ice blast US as winter storms forecasted nationwide