Winter storm shuts down schools, businesses in U.S. states Texas

A bone-rattling blast of sleet and snow kept Texas and Oklahoma residents shivering in its icy grip, while a blizzard hit north of Los Angeles as a winter storm that has been blamed for at least 65 deaths in nine states continued in much of the U.S.

Winter storm shuts down schools, businesses in U.S. states Texas

Much of the brunt of the latest Southern storms was to move east Thursday — but the reprieve may be short-lived. Another barrage was to bring up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) snow to the Plains by late Friday.

In Texas, a 300-mile (480-kilometer) stretch of an interstate highway from Fort Stockton to San Antonio reopened Thursday after two days, though officials said slush and icy patches remained.

Snow accumulations were light by some other regions' standards — the Dallas area topped out at 3 inches (8 centimeters) — but hundreds of airline flights were canceled, and tens of thousands of electricity customers lost power.

In Oklahoma, where 23 of the deaths have occurred, hardest hit was McAlester, where many stores were operating on generator power. Ice coated power lines throughout much of the city and nearly 1,000 linemen, tree-trimmers and support workers from the states of Kansas, Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee were there Wednesday to repair the damage.

The number of customers without electric power in Oklahoma dropped by about 18,000 on Wednesday, but 74,000 thousand others still were waiting for the lights to come on again.

In addition to the fatalities in Oklahoma and Texas, the wave of storms was blamed for 11 deaths in Missouri, eight in Iowa, four each in New York and Michigan, three in Arkansas and one each in Maine and Indiana.

Elsewhere in the country, frigid conditions tested even those accustomed to snow and ice. The entire state of Maine was no warmer than the single digits (below zero Celsius), and several communities saw dangerous wind chills. It was -16 degrees Fahrenheit (-26 degrees Celsius) in Caribou, Maine.

In California, a four-night cold snap wiped out as much as three-quarters of the state's citrus and harmed virtually every other winter crop, from avocados to flowers.

A fast-moving cold storm dropped snow in the mountains above Malibu, left white coats of hail in the city and unleashed a blizzard Wednesday that closed a highway north of Los Angeles.

Texas citrus growers in the usually balmy Rio Grande Valley also suffered a cold snap, but it was not severe enough to damage crops, said John McClung, president of the Texas Produce Association.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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