Winter storm brings power outages and travel disruptions across the US

Winter storm brings power outages and travel disruptions across the US

While a winter storm leaves nearly a million without power, Washington DC basks in a record heat wave.


A massive winter storm that brought blizzards and subfreezing temperatures to much of the US has left nearly a million households without power.

The number of customers without electricity has grown to over 945,000 across five states on day two of the storm - 820,000 in Michigan alone.

Over 6,000 US flights were cancelled or delayed on Thursday, according to FlightAware data.

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Meanwhile, other parts of the US experienced unusually warm weather.

Temperatures in Washington DC hit 81F (27C) on Thursday, a February-high not seen since 1874.

The North Carolina cities of Charlotte and Greensboro also experienced record highs.

The hot winter weather is in stark contrast to the cold snap hitting southern California, which is usually warm and sunny year-round.

There, a winter storm warning was issued for millions who were told to brace for unusually cold temperatures, blistery winds and snow.

"We are still on track for our DANGEROUS winter storm. Expect blizzard conditions in the mountains with FEET of snowfall", National Weather Service (NWS) Los Angeles wrote in a tweet.

According to the NWS, the last time that Los Angeles was under a blizzard warning was in 1989.

Elsewhere, the cold snap forced schools, businesses and some state legislatures to close.

Portland, Oregon, had nearly 11in (28cm) of snowfall overnight, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported, its second snowiest day ever recorded.

Slushy, snowy streets caused major traffic delays for commuters after forecasters there only predicted a light dusting of snow.

Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesman Dylan Rivera told local media that forecasters had failed to predict the "epic" snowfall.

"Even if we had a warning, this would have been an epic event. And now, an epic event with no warning? That's a double whammy," he told Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called in the National Guard to help motorists stranded on the wintry roads.

The storm led to the death in Michigan of a volunteer firefighter, who reportedly came into contact with a downed powerline.

Officials in Oregon are also investigating a suspected hypothermia death that they say may be related to the storm.

High winds were also an issue in parts of the US, uprooting a massive redwood tree, which then "speared" into the living room of a home in California's Bay Area, local media reported. Fire officials there said a one-year-old baby was in critical condition.

The Bay Area fire department said they had been flooded with calls of fallen trees, blocked homes and power lines clogging roads.

In Canada, ice pellets and freezing rain were forecast overnight after parts of southern Ontario were blanketed in snow during the evening rush hour on Wednesday.