Tornadoes, historic cold across USA kill seven, disrupt COVID-19 vaccinations

Tornadoes, historic cold across USA kill seven, disrupt COVID-19 vaccinations

Wind-chill warnings extended from Canada into Mexico.

At least 10 deaths have been reported in light of the storm and resulting blackouts.

Apart from Texas, much of the United States was in the grip of bone-chilling weather over the three-day Presidents Day holiday weekend.

North Carolina's Brunswick County had little notice of the unsafe weather, and a tornado warning was not issued until the storm was already on the ground.

"We're calling it Storm System No. 2, with very similar placement to the previous storm", said meteorologist Lara Pagano of the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

In all, between 2 and 3 million customers in Texas still had no power almost two full days after historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge in demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state's power grid and causing widespread blackouts. The water plant lost power in a blackout Monday.

Texas officials requested 60 generators from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and planned to prioritize hospitals and nursing homes.

Thirty-five warming shelters were opened to accommodate more than 1,000 people around the state, FEMA said during a briefing.

More than 500 people sought comfort at one Houston shelter.

Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport said it would remain closed until at least 19:00 GMT on Tuesday, while the city's Hobby Airport ceased operations until at least noon on Tuesday due to the inclement weather.

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.

"It's worse than a hurricane", Harrell said.

"We're going to have to plan for more of this kind of weather".

Due to the extreme cold across the region where it operates, Arkansas-based Southwest Power Pool said it had directed member utilities to implement rolling blackouts.

The website, which tracks power outages, said 4 113 701 Texas customers were experiencing outages at 02:05 (07:05 GMT) on Tuesday. "The implementation of this load shed across the Entergy region will help ensure an adequate reserve margin, which helps ensure Entergy is better positioned to manage through additional extreme weather this week".

Nebraska's blackouts came amid some of the coldest weather on record: In Omaha, the temperature bottomed out at 23 degrees below zero overnight (minus 30 degrees Celsius), the coldest in 25 years.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said the grid lost some 34,000 megawatts of power. Doses were rushed to area hospitals and Rice University to be injected into the arms of people already at those locations and who didn't have to travel on slick roads. There is another storm on the way on Wednesday, expected to bring more snow, ice and sleet from the Texas panhandle through Kentucky and up through Washington DC to New York City, New Jersey and Boston.

"Those very same areas could be impacted - that will include tornadoes and damaging winds", he said.

Sharon Benson, 63, said her roof was damaged and her garage door blown off. Windows were shattered and nearby trees were uprooted.

"This is a complete bungle", she said.

Winter weather across the USA is likely to blame for the deaths of two people in Texas, where a snow emergency 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. A MS man died after losing control of his vehicle, which overturned on an icy road Monday night near Starkville, Oktibbeha County coroner Michael Hunt said Tuesday.

Oncor released a statement saying it couldn't rotate through the outages Monday night because of "poor grid conditions", and warned residents to prepare for "extended periods without power". And in OR, authorities on Tuesday confirmed the deaths four people last weekend in the Portland metro area of carbon monoxide poisoning. One parent died of the toxic fumes, pediatrician Phillip Scott told Fort Worth television station KTVT.

The cause of the death of the person was suspected to be exposure to "extreme low temperatures", Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said on Twitter.

At midday, more than 2,700 USA flights had been cancelled, led by more than 800 at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and more than 700 at Bush Intercontinental in Houston. She said she was anxious about another blast of wintry weather forecast for Tuesday night and the possibility of her home's pipes bursting.

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