A violent winter storm has paralyzed parts of the USA. The Midwest and Northwest of the country were particularly affected, as US media reported on Friday. Around a million households and businesses were temporarily without power because freezing rain, storms and falling trees damaged the lines.
Michigan was particularly hard hit, where, according to the website poweroutage.us, around 725,000 customers still had no electricity on Friday night. A firefighter in the state was also killed by a falling power line. At times, severe weather warnings were in effect for around 60 million people across the country. About a meter of snow fell in some areas of Wyoming and about 80 centimeters in Montana. The broadcaster CNN spoke of "brutal winter storms".
The cold front also affected air travel. According to reports, around 2,000 flights were canceled on Thursday alone, and almost 4,000 were delayed. In many places, roads were also impassable due to snow and ice, it was said.
On Friday, the "unusually cold and slow-moving winter storm" will bring very heavy snowfall and winds to the state of California, the weather service said. For the first time in decades, a blizzard warning has been issued for parts of the often sun-drenched US state. Heavy snowstorms with severe temperature drops in North America are called blizzards. Persistent strong wind can cause visibility impairments in heavy snowfall.
The meteorologists also warned of flooding in southern California. In other regions, the heavy snowfall and freezing winds would gradually ease. The "record-breaking heat" in the southeast, for example in Florida, is now over - but the temperatures remained above the norm.
The onset of winter also led to a postponement of the first day of the US soccer league. The game of Sporting Kansas City with the German professionals Erik Thommy, Tim Leibold and Robert Voloder at the Portland Timbers was postponed from Saturday to Monday, as the clubs announced on Thursday.