Giant Blackout Leaves Thousands Without Power

( — More than 120,000 Texans were left without power as a storm ravaged the southern and eastern United States. The storm, which has traveled from California, brought strong winds, hail, and even tornadoes to the region. It is thought to have affected around 80 million people from Texas to Pennsylvania and beyond to New England. The worst affected states so far are Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and tornadoes are expected to hit Ohio and Central Georgia.

Three people have been tragically killed by falling trees in Alabama and a woman died in Mississippi when a tree branch fell onto her car. Deaths have also been reported in Tennessee and Kentucky. The governor of Kentucky has declared a state of emergency and the Mayor of Louisville Craig Greenberg has issued a warning to residents. “I encourage everyone in our community to exercise extreme caution – do not drive through standing water, do not approach downed power lines, or do anything that would put the lives of anyone at risk,” he said.

The National Weather Service has described the storms as “powerful and historic” with peak wind gusts between 96 and 128kph.

In California, residents have been alerted to expect around five feet of snow. The Sierra Nevada mountains were buried under a staggering 16 feet of snow in just the last two weeks. The snowfall for the season so far is 48.33 feet. The record for the area is 67.55 feet which fell in the winter of 1951 – 1952.

Governor Gavin Newsom has said that crews in San Bernardino county have moved 7.2 million yards of snow from highways – an amount equal to 2,270 Olympic-sized swimming pools. One San Bernardino resident, Christine Foster, became trapped in a cabin with her 76-year-old father as the entrance was frozen shut by a 9-foot wall of ice. “We’re just not used to this kind of snowstorm. It’s historic up here. We’ve never had this much snow in such a short time,” she said.

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