Winter weather threatens large parts of US into holiday weekend
Two powerful storms were leaving much of the United States struggling with blackouts, whiteouts and gusty winds on Thanksgiving Day — and the nightmare could continue in some areas into the holiday weekend.
Of special concern is the forecast for Sunday, when millions of holiday travelers head home. There will be a mix of rain and snow through the Midwest and an icy mix in parts of the northeast, with New York City and Boston forecast to have snow, followed by rain.
Excessive speed in icy conditions was considered a factor in a bus accident that injured several people in southern Colorado. The charter bus carrying 48 passengers rolled over, state police said.
More than 1,500 flights in the United States had been delayed by Thursday evening, with more than 70 canceled, according to FlightAware.
The weather pattern promises to stay active, the National Weather Service said.
“Widespread winter weather, flash flood and wind watches, warnings and advisories are currently in effect … across large portions of the nation,” the agency said.
Rain and snowfall were the big story Thursday, with the latter accumulating in the mountains near Los Angeles. The second storm system was bringing the same across the Great Plains into the Ohio Valley region.
Thousands of homes and businesses were without power, mainly in California, Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, according to the utility tracking site PowerOutage.us.
The weather has been so chaotic, 32 states at one point were under some sort of watch, warning or weather advisory. One system pounded Western states with rain and snow, while an East Coast storm dumped snow as its high winds knocked out power.
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Passenger bus rolled over
The bus incident occurred in Huerfano County, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
The vehicle was traveling northbound on Interstate 25 when the driver lost control on the icy road, officials said. The bus rotated clockwise, ran off the right side of the road, rolled halfway over and came to rest on its top.
The driver was charged with careless driving causing bodily injury, the agency said.
Injuries ranged from minor to life-threatening. Authorities did not say how many of the injured were taken to hospitals.
“Excessive speed for the roadway conditions is being considered a factor in the crash,” the state patrol said in a statement.
Millions face a ‘cornucopia of hazards’
The storm in the western US has put more than 20 million people under a winter threat, CNN meteorologist Gene Norman said.
In California’s Grapevine area between Bakersfield and Los Angeles, heavy snow forced officials to close Interstate 5