Storms, high winds cut power to 800,000 in South Tennessee Valley
Gov. Andy Beshear said Saturday that at least five Kentuckians died as a result of the storm, which lashed the state with 70 mph winds and flash flooding. Three people were killed by falling trees in Alabama, while another was killed by the storm Also reported in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, according to the Associated Press.
Officials are already urging patience amid power outages. As of midday Saturday, more than 300,000 customers were without power in Kentucky and Michigan, while tens of thousands struggled with outages in Tennessee, Ohio and West Virginia. PowerOutage.us.
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Both Beshear and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg declared a state of emergency. Louisville’s executive director of emergency services, Edward J. Memon said he was overwhelmed by the “huge” surge of calls for help on Friday, which included several water rescues and fires caused by the storm.
The governor urged patience in restoring service, saying there may be days without power in some areas.
“This is very significant widespread damage across Kentucky,” Beshear said during a news conference. “When it comes into power, it will be a multi-day event.”
As it moves east, the storm could drop up to 8 inches of snow in parts of northeastern and northern New England by Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service said, which also warned of coastal flooding. Parts of Maine and New Hampshire will see heavy snowfall, while the Boston area and further south will see a mix of rain and wintry.
More than 10 inches of snow fell in parts of the Detroit area, where service providers DTE and Consumers Energy It has already faced criticism According to the Detroit Free Press, power outages in February. More than 3,000 workers are working on emergency repairs for DTE, the company said on its website.
Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport was closed Friday, with local media reporting 300 flight cancellations. The airport said on Twitter that it had resumed operations by midnight on Friday.
A southern winter storm could be a precursor to storm season
Tornado watches were issued for areas stretching from eastern Kentucky to northern Georgia, and the weather service received reports of more than 125 wind-damaging tornadoes in the region. It comes amid record winter storm activity in the Deep South and Central America over the past three months, exacerbated by unusually warm winter temperatures.
According to the National Weather Service, the northeast will be followed by an “unreasonably warm” period through Monday in early March. The National Weather Service is forecasting “mostly calm” weather for the Detroit area through the weekend as well.
Another system in the western US continues to dump massive amounts of snow on California, with several feet of snow expected in the Sierra Nevada mountains this weekend.