Cold wave in the USA: Thousands of flights canceled – several dead
Created: 12/23/2022, 9:15 p.m
By: Caspar Felix Hoffmann
A historic cold snap is sweeping across the United States.
People across the country are trying to protect themselves from life-threatening frost.
Washington/Frankfurt – Icy wind whips the snow across the highway.
From the police officer's car in the US state of Wyoming, you can hardly see your own hood: whiteout, the snow like a white wall, visibility is zero, every driver's nightmare.
As can be seen in the dashcam video of Wyoming State Troopers, which the
New York Post
newspaper published on its website, motorists have been feeling the same way in large parts of the north and midwest of the United States in the past few days.
Extreme frost, snowstorms and freezing winds: the USA will be hit by a dramatic cold wave over the Christmas period.
More than 200 million Americans were affected by severe weather warnings on the day before Christmas (December 23), the US weather service reported.
Dangers from drastic temperature drops, freezing winds and massive snowfall threatened “from coast to coast”.
In Denver, Colorado, temperatures dropped by around 40 degrees within 24 hours as the Arctic cold front passed through.
According to media reports, at least five people died in apparently weather-related traffic accidents in Kansas and Oklahoma by Friday (December 23).
Extreme frost and heavy snowstorms claim the first victims in the USA.
© picture alliance/dpa/Wisconsin State Journal/AP |
Cold wave in the USA: More than 3000 flights canceled
There were chaotic scenes at the airports.
website reported that more than 3,000 flights were canceled on Friday (December 23) alone
Especially passengers in the north, around the great lakes, can make up their Christmas travel plans.
A video posted by the
's website shows an armada of snow plows attempting to clear the tarmac at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, one of the country's main airports.
An hour's flight further east, in Cleveland, on the south shore of Lake Erie,
almost 70 percent of all flights were canceled on Friday (December 23) , according to
And it doesn't go further by land either.
Numerous train and bus connections were canceled and the authorities warn against driving by car.
The weather service warned that those who get stuck on the roads because of snow and ice could face the icy winds as a life-threatening trap.
It's particularly hard on those who don't have a roof over their heads.
Across the country, helpers are trying to save the many homeless people from the cold.
At a church mission in Augusta, Georgia, they were preparing for an onslaught, the
New York Times
"It might not be a matter of life and death on a normal night," said the mission leader, "but it is now." According to media reports, at least five homeless people froze to death in Salt Lake City, Utah, earlier this week.
And even in Miami, where it's typically warm, the Homeless Relief has put its Cold Emergency Plan into effect.
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Severe weather in the USA: the power grid collapsed due to the cold
In the state of Texas, the extreme cold snap brings back dark memories.
Last year, the power grid collapsed due to the cold, and millions of people were without electricity for days.
According to studies, more than 200 people are said to have died as a result.
But this time, be better prepared.
"The power grid is ready and reliable," the
New York Times
quoted one responsible as saying.
As of Friday (December 23),
more than 80,000 of more than 12 million power consumers in Texas were without power, according to website
Nationwide, more than a million people would have sat in the dark.
The north of the country is particularly badly affected by ice, wind and snow – especially around the Great Lakes.
"Swells up to six meters high are predicted at each of the Great Lakes," the Detroit Free Press
a scientist from the State Meteorological and Oceanographic Administration.
Authorities have already responded on the east shore of Lake Erie, near Niagara Falls.
In the city of Hamburg, New York, residents near the water have reportedly been asked to evacuate their homes.
Cold wave in the USA: Temperatures are expected to rise again soon
In the metropolis of Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan, the winter services also had their hands full.
Further east, in the state of Indiana, the governor has mobilized the National Guard to protect people from the expected snowstorms.
But just as quickly as the cold spook broke over the USA, it could also be over again.
In some areas of the country's north-west, temperatures are expected to soar again soon once the core of the cold air has passed, the National Weather Service forecast.
In many places it should be 20 to 30 degrees warmer by the weekend.