Three people were tragically killed and a baby injured in Portland, Oregon, during a recent ice storm. The incident occurred when a power line fell on a parked car, prompting frantic calls to emergency dispatchers. Witnesses reported seeing the victims being electrocuted after exiting the vehicle. It was later determined that a branch had fallen on the power line, causing it to come crashing down onto an SUV.
The power company swiftly deenergized the line following the incident. This unfortunate event took place amid an ice storm that gripped the Portland area, making travel treacherous for both drivers and pedestrians. The wintry weather left a blanket of ice across the city, with icicles hanging from roofs and cars, and branches, plants, and leaves all covered in a thick layer of ice.
Warnings were issued for the region, with up to an inch of ice forecasted due to freezing rain. Given the dangerous conditions, Portland transportation officials urgently urged the public to stay off the roads. As a result, several school districts decided to cancel classes to ensure the safety of their students.
These tragic deaths only added to the toll from a previous storm over the weekend, which claimed at least seven lives due to fallen trees and suspected hypothermia. Furthermore, around 90,000 homes and businesses, primarily in Oregon, experienced power outages as a result of the severe weather conditions.
The bitter cold was not limited to Oregon alone. Freezing temperatures were felt as far south as North Florida. Western New York also suffered from extreme weather, with three deaths occurring over three days, including two individuals who were apparently overcome while clearing snow. Buffalo, New York, was forecasted to receive heavy lake-effect snow, with up to 4 inches an hour expected.
In South Dakota, the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation provided shelter for dozens of people and covered the cost of lodging for approximately 40 families due to substandard government housing. Meanwhile, Tennessee experienced at least six weather-related deaths, and the Tennessee Valley Authority reported peak power demand as the region faced extreme cold temperatures.
The impact of the severe weather spread throughout the country, leaving behind a trail of tragedy and hardship. As the nation works to recover from these devastating events, it serves as a reminder of the importance of staying informed and prepared during extreme weather conditions.
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