Connect with us

Real Estate

Huge ‘bomb cyclone’ storm hits US with life-threatening cold as holidays begin

More than 60% of US faces winter weather warnings, with temperatures drastically below normal in many places
A wild winter storm enveloped much of the US on Saturday, bringing blizzards, freezing rain, flooding and intense cold close to record lows. More than a dozen deaths were attributed to the storm. Holiday travel and utilities were disrupted, with around 1.4 million homes and businesses left without power by late afternoon.

Forecasters said the storm, a “bomb cyclone” or “bombogenesis”, was caused by a collision of cold, dry air from the north and warm, moist air from the south.

More than 200 million people were under some form of winter advisory or warning in “one of the greatest extents of winter weather warnings and advisories ever”, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

As the system pushed as far south as Texas, many faced the coldest Christmas Eve for decades. The storm, named Elliott, downed power lines, littered highways with accidents and led to mass flight cancellations. It stretched 2,000 miles from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the Mexico border. Temperatures were drastically below normal from the Rockies to the Appalachians.

Freezing rain coated much of the Pacific north-west, while the north east faced coastal and inland flooding followed by rapid freezing.

“Heavy rain falling onto a melting snowpack will enhance flooding impacts,” the NWS said. “Moderate to isolated major coastal flooding is forecast due to strong onshore winds. Rapidly falling temperatures on the backside of the storm could cause flooded areas to freeze.”
Frigid temperatures and gusty winds were expected to produce “dangerously cold wind chills across much of the central and eastern US, a potentially life-threatening hazard for travelers that become stranded”.

“In some areas, being outdoors could lead to frostbite in minutes,” the NWS said, adding: “Ensure outdoor animals and livestock have sufficient shelter.”

Across the six New England states, almost 400,000 customers remained without power, with some utilities warning restoration could take days. In North Carolina, nearly 370,000 were without power, according to

PJM Interconnection, of Pennsylvania, issued an emergency call for conservation, asking residents in 13 states to set thermostats lower, postpone use of major appliances like stoves and dishwashers and turn off non-essential lights. Commercial and industrial power users were asked to cut back.

PJM also warned people to be prepared for rolling blackouts. PJM covers all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington DC.

Millions traveling ahead of Christmas were affected, with 7,423 flights delayed and 3,426 cancelled within, into or out of the US, according to FlightAware. The NWS warned of “extremely dangerous” road travel due to “whiteout conditions”, urging travelers to expect periodic “near-zero visibility and considerable blowing and drifting of snow”.

“Traveling in these conditions will be extremely dangerous, at times impossible,” it said.
Highways closed as crashes multiplied. Four died in a pile-up involving 50 vehicles on the Ohio Turnpike. A driver in Kansas City, Missouri, was killed on Thursday after skidding into a creek. Three died on Kansas roads. Michigan faced a series of crashes, including one involving nine semi-trailers.

In Canada, WestJet canceled all flights at Pearson airport in Toronto. In Mexico, migrants camped near the US border in unusually cold temperatures as they awaited a supreme court decision on pandemic-era restrictions that stop many seeking asylum.

In South Dakota, the governor, Kristi Noem, announced an expansion of a state national guard mission to assist the Oglala Sioux and Rosebud Sioux tribes with firewood and to clear snow blown into drifts as high as 12ft.

Rare freeze warnings were issued for large parts of Florida.
Across the breadth of the storm, activists rushed to get homeless people out of the cold. Nearly 170 adults and children were at a Detroit shelter designed to hold 100.

“This is a lot of extra people” but it wasn’t an option to turn anyone away, said Faith Fowler, executive director of Cass Community Social Services.

In Portland, Oregon, nearly 800 people slept at five shelters as outreach teams distributed survival gear. Shelters called for volunteers. Employees were laid low by flu or kept from work by icy roads, officials said.

On Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the tallest peak in the north east, the wind topped 150mph.

In Boston, rain combined with a high tide flooded some downtown streets. In Vermont, Amtrak canceled rail service and non-essential state offices closed early.

“I’m hearing from crews who are seeing grown trees ripped out by the roots,” Mari McClure, president of Green Mountain Power, the largest Vermont utility, told reporters.

In New York, the governor, Kathy Hochul, declared a state of emergency and announced plans to deploy the national guard to the Buffalo area.

Jefferson county declared an emergency and travel ban as the NWS in Buffalo reported “life-threatening blizzard conditions”, with 14in of snow in 24 hours and another 2ft to 4ft possible.
Hochul said the the Buffalo Niagara international airport would be closed through Monday, some roads would be closed through Christmas Day and almost every fire truck in Buffalo was stranded.

“No matter how many emergency vehicles we have, they cannot get through the conditions as we speak,” Hochul said.

Two people died on Friday after first responders were unable to reach their homes during medical emergencies.

“It’s like a category 3 hurricane with a bunch of snow mixed in,” Tim Carney, of the Erie county sheriff’s office, told Buffalo News, estimating that at least 10 police vehicles were stranded.
Winds were expected to decrease on Saturday, though “blizzard conditions continue within lake snow bands”, the NWS said.

Continue Reading

Real Estate

Central banks end crisis-fighting measure as bank tumult recedes

Last month, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the second-largest bank failure in US history, unleashed broader panic and raised fears the global financial system would seize up. Now, central banks are signaling that their immediate concerns have eased.

The Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank said Tuesday that they would end daily measures to boost the flow of US dollars to lenders around the world. They cited “improvements in US dollar funding conditions” and “low demand” at recent operations aimed at providing liquidity.

Starting May 1, those operations will once again be held weekly, a decision made in consultation with the US Federal Reserve, the primary source of dollars. The frequency could increase again if needed, the four central banks said.

“These central banks stand ready to readjust the provision of US dollar liquidity as warranted by market conditions,” they said in their statements.

Policymakers sprung into action in March after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the United States sparked an acute bout of turmoil in the global banking sector. The tumult also nearly took down Credit Suisse (CS), a globally important but troubled bank, forcing Swiss authorities to arrange an emergency sale to rival UBS (UBS).

Hours after the Credit Suisse takeover was announced, the Fed said it would work with central banks in the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Switzerland and the European Union to make sure lenders there had access to the dollar liquidity they needed.

That meant making greater use of dollar swap lines, or agreements between the Fed and other central banks to provide dollars in exchange for, say, euros or yen.

Swap lines are a key instrument in central banks’ toolbox aimed at preserving financial stability and keeping credit flowing to households and businesses.

Continue Reading

Real Estate

Fukushima’s fishing industry survived a nuclear disaster. 12 years on, it fears Tokyo’s next move may finish it off

It is still morning when Kinzaburo Shiga, 77, returns to Onahama port after catching a trawler full of fish off Japan’s eastern coast.

But the third-generation fisherman won’t head straight to market. First, he’ll test his catch for radiation.

It’s a ritual he’s repeated for more than a decade since a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in 2011, spewing deadly radioactive particles into the surrounding area.

Radiation from the damaged nuclear plant leaked into the sea, prompting authorities to suspend fishing operations off the coast of three prefectures that had previously provided Japan with half of its catch.

That ban lasted over a year, and even after it was lifted, Fukushima-based fishermen like Shiga were for years mostly limited to collecting samples for radioactivity tests on behalf of the state-owned electricity firm Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, rather than taking their catches to market.

Ocean currents have since dispersed the contaminated water enough that radioactive cesium is nearly undetectable in fish from Fukushima prefecture. Japan lifted its last remaining restrictions on fish from the area in 2021, and most countries have eased import restrictions.

Shiga and others in the industry thought they’d put the nightmare of the past years behind them.

So when Japan followed through on plans to gradually release more than 1 million metric tons of filtered wastewater into the Pacific Ocean from the summer of 2023 – an action the government says is necessary to decommission the plant safely – the industry reeled.

The Japanese government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations body promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy, say the controlled release, which is expected to take decades, will meet international safety regulations and not harm the environment, as the water will be treated to remove radioactive elements – with the exception of tritium – and diluted more than 100 times.

But with the deadline for the planned water release looming this summer, Fukushima’s fishermen fear that – whether the release is safe or not – the move will undermine consumer confidence in their catches and once again threaten the way of life they have fought so hard to recover.

Continue Reading

Real Estate

Video shows US police at wrong house before shooting homeowner

Robert Dotson, 52, was killed by police on April 5 in New Mexico after officers responding to a domestic violence report arrived at the wrong house.

New Mexico police officers realised they were at the wrong address just moments before the front door opened and they fatally shot the armed homeowner, then exchanged gunfire with his wife, according to newly released body camera video of the April 5 shooting.

Robert Dotson, 52, was killed in Farmington, a city of 47,000 people in the southwestern US state, after officers on their way to a domestic violence call went to the wrong house.

The Farmington Police Department released several videos on Friday, including footage captured by body cameras worn by the three officers who fired their weapons.

“All of us – the men and women of the Farmington Police Department – recognise the severity of this incident,” Police Chief Steven Hebbe said in a statement.

“Once again, we wish to express our condolences to the Dotson family, and as your chief of police, I wish to convey how very sorry I am that this tragedy occurred,” Hebbe said.

Continue Reading


slot777 slot thailand slot777 slot gacor hari ini slot gacor maxwin slot deposit pulsa slot deposit pulsa tri