12 Dead, 2M Without Power Across US

This winter storm is relentless
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 24, 2022 11:26 AM CST
10 Dead, 2M Without Power Across US
Francisco Erazo uses his snow blower in Grand Rapids, Mich.   (Neil Blake/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

A battering winter storm left nearly 2 million homes and businesses without power across the United States on Saturday, as millions more people were left to worry how the prospect of further outages would effect holiday and travel plans. The blinding blizzards, freezing rain, and frigid cold that enveloped much of the country knocked out power to an estimated 1.7 million households and businesses, while a major electricity grid operator warned the 65 million people it serves across the eastern US that rolling blackouts might be required, per the AP. Across the country, officials have attributed at least 12 deaths of exposure, storm damage, and car crashes. A separate AP story has details on the fatalities.

  • Pennsylvania-based PJM Interconnection said power plants are having difficulty operating in the frigid weather and has asked residents in 13 states to refrain from unnecessary use of electricity. It covers all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
  • The Tennessee Valley Authority, which provides electricity to 10 million people in Tennessee and parts of six surrounding states, directed local power companies on Saturday to implement planned interruptions to “ensure power system reliability.”
  • Across the six New England states, almost 400,000 electric customers remained without power on Saturday morning, with some utilities warning it could be days before power is restored. In North Carolina, more than 415,000 customers were without power, according to poweroutage.us.
  • The storm was nearly unprecedented in its scope, stretching from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico. About 60% of the US population faced some sort of winter weather advisory or warning, and temperatures plummeted drastically below normal from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, the National Weather Service said. Freezing rain coated much of the Pacific Northwest in a layer of ice, while people in the Northeast faced the threat of coastal and inland flooding.
  • A crash on the Ohio Turnpike killed four.
(More winter storm stories.)

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