Winter Storm Leaves At Least 19 Dead In U.S. And Canada

Posted On 28 Dec 2013
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At least 19 people have died in U.S. and Canada after four days of freezing temperatures and lack of electricity.

Thousands remain dark and forecasts indicate that temperatures will not rise yet.

At least 19 dead in the U.S. and Canada, nearly 250,000 people without power, traffic accidents, road closures and suspended flights is the balance of a severe winter storm is heading toward the northeast.

CNN reported that hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by the bad weather front that has lasted four days and forecasters warn that low temperatures this weekend will be maintained.

The most affected areas on Friday are part of Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and northern New England.

The number of 14 deaths was recorded in the United States and most of them were carbon monoxide fumes, officials said emergency management offices cited by CNN.

Five people died in Canada, also by inhalation of carbon monoxide. In areas without electricity and because of the intense cold, residents light fires inside homes to heat homes or light generators without proper ventilation measures.

The suspension of electricity supply originated from severe ice storms that toppled trees and cut these transmission lines.

The most affected area

In Detroit, Michigan, the authorities noted that teams rush repair work to restore electric service. More than half a million homes and businesses remain in the dark since Christmas.

Power outages spread to Great Plains to Maine and eastern Canada, reported The Associated Press.

“I was without power while others,” Carone said at his home in Lapeer, north of Detroit. It was approximately 7:30 am on Sunday when he was on the phone with his boss. He left home a half hour later and has since worked 16 hours a day.

Michigan the brunt of the storm was when about 600,000 homes and businesses remained without power.

It could have been worse, said Paul Graham, supervising installers Massachusetts whose crew was providing assistance in Gardiner, Maine.

The installers face a dangerous and grueling task, not to mention low temperatures. Ice can exert much weight on the wires to break or knock down tree limbs, which could in turn bring down power lines.

Before working on the power lines, workers must first remove debris if necessary, then go to the poles to reconnect the cables, using belts and special boots to climb them.

Multiple crashes

On Thursday, one of the highways of eastern Pennsylvania area were reopened after be blocked for hours following multiple crashes involving cars and trucks in the slippery snow-covered slopes.

The authorities of the Pennsylvania Turnpike said 35 vehicles collided on Thursday, blocking westbound lanes and causing congestion about six kilometers (four miles) some 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Philadelphia, between exits to the towns of Morgantown and Reading. No deaths reported.

State police said 25 to 30 vehicles collided on Interstate 78 and closed a stretch of about 8 kilometers (5 miles) to the west, also in Berks County.

The lanes were reopened after 3pm.

The storm has delayed the delivery of parcels and mail. Two of the largest parcel delivery companies in the United States, UPS and Federal Express, on Thursday apologized to its customers for many “shipments Santa” did not arrive on time, and redoubled their efforts to deal with the rear of winter storm, the agency Efe reported.

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