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HomeWorldUS thrusts into pre-Christmas cold freeze amid blizzard

US thrusts into pre-Christmas cold freeze amid blizzard

A terrifying winter storm that battered the United States with blinding snow and ferocious Arctic winds on Saturday left 1.7 million people without power and trapped thousands of travelers making last-minute trips for Christmas.

Heavy snowfall, ferocious winds, and dangerously low temperatures have gripped most of the country, including the typically temperate south, for a third consecutive day. At least 13 storm-related deaths have been verified across six states.

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Cold temperatures and strong winds limit energy production across the US, increasing the cost of electricity and heating. About two-thirds of the US saw subfreezing temperatures and severe weather warnings as a result of Winter Storm Elliott, and several regions continued to experience cold and snow far into the Christmas season.

More than 1.7 million homes and businesses lost electricity, Texas’ oil refineries reduced the amount of gasoline and diesel they produced due to equipment failures, and energy costs increased as a result of the losses.

According to flight tracking website Flightaware.com, the “bomb cyclone” winter storm, one of the worst in decades, had already prompted the cancellation of more than 1,900 US flights on Saturday, a day after over 6,000 were cancelled.

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Due to cancellations, passengers were left stranded in airports such as Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, and New York, where they hoped that a pre-Christmas flight rebooking miracle would occur.

The National Weather Service said that over 200 million Americans were under weather alerts as wind chills caused temperatures to drop as low as -55 Fahrenheit (-48 Celsius) (NWS). Authorities issued a warning about dangerous conditions and urged citizens to stay inside.

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