Tens of millions of people enter the freezing cold Christmas in the United States and Canada. The storm is at a level you only see every five or ten years, says the Meteorological Institute of Canada.
In the United States, hazard warnings have been issued in large parts of the country. More than 200 million people live in the areas for which danger warnings were issued on Friday.
– This is one of the most widespread winter danger warnings of all time, says the US Meteorological Institute.
Roads like ice rinks
In some places it is as cold as minus 48 degrees. In addition, there are heavy snowfalls and strong winds. About 1.5 million people are without power, mostly in the southern and eastern United States.
– It’s a huge danger across the state, says New York Governor Kathy Hochul.
She says the roads are like skating rinks and asks people to leave their cars. Driving bans have been put in place in several places. This applies, among other places, to Hamburg, New York.
– I can’t see the other side of the street. We’re not going anywhere, says Jennifer Orlando in Hamburg.
Even in southern states that are used to much milder winters, it is now cold. In El Paso, Texas, it affects migrants. More and more people are gathering in churches, schools and other public buildings to keep warm.
However, some choose to stay outside, where it is minus 9 degrees, so as not to blame the immigration authorities.
In Chicago, Burke Patten of the Night Ministry, which helps the homeless, says they distribute survival gear such as coats, hats, stillongs, blankets and sleeping bags.
Problems for travelers
The storm is also creating problems for those returning home for Christmas. About 5,000 flights were canceled on Friday and another 7,600 delayed.
– We just have to stay positive. Anger doesn’t help us, says Wendell Davis, who is stuck in Chicago on his way home from France to Cincinnati.
The cold also means that a large number of sporting events are canceled. A clip from Iowa sportswriter Mark Woodley has gone viral:
– I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I still have feelings on my face, the bad is that I really wish I didn’t, he said live.
“Hardcore coffee specialist. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Devoted internetaholic.”