Severe Weather Alerts: Canceled Flights, Power Outages, and Playoff Postponements

Des Moines, Iowa, and other parts of the United States are grappling with extreme weather conditions, as nearly every state faces some form of weather alert. From flood watches in the east to blizzard warnings in Iowa and wind chill warnings in the central states, the country is dealing with a wide range of challenges.

Flight cancellations have become a major issue, with over 1,100 flights canceled on Saturday alone. This follows more than 2,000 cancellations on Friday. Airports like O’Hare International in Chicago and Metropolitan Wayne County in Detroit have been significantly impacted, with 9% and 13% of flights canceled, respectively. Even smaller airports like Buffalo Niagara International are facing significant disruptions, as 56% of their flights have been canceled. New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for western New York on Friday due to whiteout conditions, making travel extremely difficult.

In addition to travel disruptions, power outages are affecting hundreds of thousands of customers across states like Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York. Oregon has the highest number of outages, with over 236,000 customers without power, followed by Michigan with more than 101,000 affected customers.

The severe weather is also impacting major events, such as the NFL playoffs. The playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers has been postponed due to dangerous conditions in Buffalo. The frigid temperatures are also affecting the Kansas City Chiefs’ game against the Miami Dolphins, with temperatures expected to be as low as minus 4°F and wind chills making it feel like minus 20°F to minus 25°F.

Tragically, the winter weather has led to several deaths. In Franklin, Wisconsin, a 69-year-old man died while snow blowing his driveway. Another death due to cold exposure was reported in Schiller Park, a suburb of Chicago, marking the first cold-related death of the season. A suspected hypothermia death occurred in Portland, Oregon, following a state of emergency declaration.

Blizzard conditions have hit the upper Midwest, with heavy snowfall and gusty winds causing whiteout conditions. Cities like Des Moines have already seen significant snowfall, with nine inches accumulating. The winter weather also poses a flooding threat, with some communities in New Jersey experiencing flooding due to intense rainfall.

As the extreme cold persists, cities in the southern states like Dallas, Nashville, and Little Rock will have temperatures that feel like single digits, while cities like Oklahoma City and Amarillo will feel below zero.

In summary, severe weather conditions in various parts of the United States are causing flight cancellations, power outages, event postponements, and tragic deaths. From blizzards to flooding and bone-chilling temperatures, many states are facing significant challenges.