(BrightPress.org) – A frigid blast of winter weather has left wide swaths of the country under a blanket of bitter-cold temperatures and icy conditions. The heavy snow, ice, and low temperatures caused a power line to fall on a parked car in northeast Portland. Three adults in the vehicle were killed, but an infant survived with injuries after being rescued by a nearby teenager who witnessed the accident.
Fresh ice coated Tennessee on Thursday, January 18th after rain and snow fell earlier in the week. The bitter cold blast reached across the country from the Pacific Northwest to Appalachia, spreading cold temperatures and snow along with freezing rain and ice.
Tennessee officials blamed at least 14 deaths on the cold. They saw 9 inches of snowfall across the Nashville metro area, which typically doesn’t get heavy snow. The system brought freezing temperatures, which increased demand on the power grid to historic levels. The Tennessee Valley Authority said that the electrical consumption was at its highest levels ever.
The freezing temperatures caused cold-related injuries in dozens of sports fans on Saturday, January 13th in Kansas City during a football game.
Freezing rain on Thursday compounded the already inundated area. Roads and powerlines were coated in layers of fresh ice, making commutes dangerous and causing power outages. Many government offices and schools were closed due to the extreme weather.
Portland area schools remained closed as of Thursday, January 18th. For many, it was the third day in a row of extreme weather or fallout from it that caused schools to be closed. Many buildings were experiencing flood damage due to pipes bursting.
Forty deaths around the country have been attributed to the recent weather. A man in Tennessee died after the box truck he was driving slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer on the highway due to ice on the road. Another man slipped and fell through a skylight while he was attempting to clear snow off his roof.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Cory Mueller said more snow and cold temperatures are on the way this weekend, with the first warmer temperatures coming on Monday, January 22nd. The National Weather Service indicated that the freeze reached as far south as north Florida.
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