Residents are feeling the effects of a harsh snowstorm sweeping across the Northeast region of the U.S. With temperatures plunging to 50 degrees below zero in most areas, the death toll has increased. For example, an elderly woman in New York with Alzheimer’s disease reportedly froze to death when she left her home and got lost. Likewise, a warehouse worker in Philadelphia died instantly when huge amounts of salt fell on him. Gusting winds, 6 to 8 inches of snow and slick roads caused schools, airports and most businesses to close Friday morning.
But the snowstorm is far from over. Meteorologists have predicted an arctic blast to rumble from Canada, starting Saturday evening and continuing until Monday night. The arctic blast will cause temperatures to drop into the single digits and wind chills to go as low as 10 degrees below zero. Therefore, all Northeast states have issued an emergency advisory to their residents. Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton stated local schools will be closed on Monday for children’s safety. People are strongly suggested to stay home and not go outside. Residents are susceptible to frost bites and hypothermia if precautions are not taken. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio encourages the use of public transportation such as subways and trains if residents must leave their homes. Local counties in Indiana are also warned of the potential danger of driving on slick and slippery roads.
In addition to issuing advisories, local government officials for each Northeastern state are giving tips on how to survive a snowstorm, especially the projected arctic blast. They recommend that people should have plenty of nonperishable foods in the home, for it is not safe to be outside. It is reported that the extremely cold weather can cause exposed skin to freeze within 10 minutes of contact. If people must go outside and travel on slick roads for any reason, they should be sure to carry a flashlight just in case they are not able to get out of the car, or the car breaks down. All who must be outside, such as those going to work or attending an important business meeting, should leave home well in advance so they can take their time getting to their destinations. It is also recommended that people be sure to check on pets because they are also vulnerable to harsh weather conditions. To ensure that pets are safe, people should bring them inside the home to remain warm. People should also keep extra batteries, candles and flashlights inside the home just in case the power goes out.
The state of Ohio will get hit hard, as well as Tennessee, northern Georgia, the New England states and New York. Accuweather predicts that the Atlanta area will have nine inches of snow and plummet to eight degrees, which is unusual for the Big Peach city.
As this arctic blast rolls its way through the Northeast region, more flights will be cancelled and city workers will be working hard to plow snow from the roads. So far, meteorologists predict that this massive snowstorm will only last a few days.
By Bridget Cunningham
The Journal Gazette