Bone-Chilling Cold Continues as Memphis Urges Boil Water and New York Braces for Dangerous Black Ice

Memphis, Tennessee, and New York City are bracing for more harsh weather conditions this weekend. Residents in Memphis have been advised to boil their water due to issues with water mains, while New Yorkers have been warned about dangerous black ice on the roads. The bitter cold air, originating from Canada, has caused wind chills as low as minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas.

The recent storms have affected multiple regions of the United States, including the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Plains, South, and Northeast. These areas have experienced heavy snowfall, ice storms, freezing rain, and high winds over the past two weeks. The National Weather Service has issued wind chill advisories that stretch from Montana to Florida, covering a vast portion of the country.

Unfortunately, this bone-chilling weather follows a series of storms that have resulted in at least 55 deaths nationwide. Many of these fatalities were caused by hypothermia or road accidents. Tennessee alone recorded 19 deaths, including a tragic incident where a 25-year-old man died in a mobile home due to an overturned space heater.

The freezing temperatures in Memphis have also caused numerous water mains to break, leading to a significant drop in water pressure throughout the city. As a precaution, Memphis Light, Gas & Water has advised its more than 400,000 customers to boil their water or use bottled supplies for drinking or teeth-brushing. Several counties in the area have also issued boil-water advisories.

Blood donations have been affected by the adverse weather conditions, prompting Chattanooga-based Blood Assurance to recommend a temporary halt to elective surgeries in over 70 hospitals across five states. This measure aims to allow inventory to be restocked and ensure an adequate blood supply.

West Virginia is currently facing fierce weather conditions, with advisories and warnings in place. Some regions may experience additional snowfall of up to 4 inches, accompanied by strong winds and dangerously low temperatures. The West Virginia Legislature had to adjourn a session due to severe snowfall impeding lawmakers’ access to the Capitol.

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., snowfall has resulted in school closures and a two-hour delay for federal government operations. However, President Joe Biden still welcomed mayors from across the country to the White House for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Other parts of the country have also been grappling with extreme weather. Buffalo, New York, recently experienced significant levels of lake-effect snowfall, requiring assistance from snow shovelers to clear Highmark Stadium before a football game. Michigan City, Indiana, received 17 inches of lake-effect snow, and residents are being cautioned about the risk of treacherous black ice on the roads.

On the West Coast, Oregon declared a statewide emergency following deadly ice storms. Although temperatures have finally risen above freezing in most areas, the melting process for ground snow and ice will be gradual. The Columbia River Gorge faces a forecast of freezing rain, which could exacerbate existing problems with tree and power line damage. The National Weather Service emphasizes vigilance and warns of the potential hazard posed by falling ice chunks.

As the country endures these challenging weather conditions, millions are hoping for a thaw next week when above-average temperatures are expected across most of the United States, according to the National Weather Service. However, until then, residents in affected areas are urged to stay safe and exercise caution. Power outage issues have also persisted in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, leaving over 41,000 customers without electricity.

The impact of these severe weather events extends far and wide, affecting daily life, infrastructure, and even healthcare services. It is crucial for communities to take necessary precautions and for authorities to continue working towards resolving these issues and minimizing further risks.