California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for 13 counties in the US because of severe winter storms. California's National Guard has been activated to support relief efforts, Newsom said on Wednesday (local time). Streets and access roads would have to be cleared of snow and the power supply would have to be restored in many places.
In addition, it must be ensured that food and water also reach vulnerable population groups, it said. The site "poweroutage.us" counted more than 82,000 households without electricity.
Districts in the central interior of the country along the Sierra Nevada were affected. Popular destinations in mountainous communities such as Lake Tahoe or Lake Arrowhead were again covered with immense snowfall, as reported by the "Los Angeles Times". Yosemite National Park remained closed until further notice due to record-breaking amounts of snow.
Hollywood in front of a snowy backdrop
Even further south in the actually sun-drenched region around the metropolis of Los Angeles, the amazement at the unusual whiteness continued. The mountains in the background of the famous "Hollywood" lettering above the Los Angeles district of the same name were all in white.
According to the region's weather service, the snow line fell to around 300 meters in some places. Hail or sleet can therefore be observed in lower areas, but no snow, the service wrote on Twitter. To prove the contrary, Internet users sent videos to the weather service in which thick flakes trickled onto the palm trees and terraces in front of their front door. "Definitely snow, not sleet," wrote one.
As California continued to struggle with frigid winter weather, the U.S. Weather Service warned of severe storms and extreme rain in the Midwest that could lead to flooding. At the same time, the unusual heat in the east of the country is gradually easing. A severe drought and strong winds in turn increased the risk of fires in the southern tip of Texas.