THE “once in a generation” bomb cyclone event has left at least 13 people dead as millions of Americans brace for record-breaking temperatures ahead of Christmas.
The deaths were reported on Friday morning in Fort Worth, Texas, and across Kentucky, where temperatures dipped well below zero.
At least four people are dead and numerous others are injured after a 50-vehicle crash along the Ohio Turnpike, Ohio State Highway Patrol said.
The multi-vehicle crash along the turnpike happened in Sandusky County early Friday afternoon.
More than two-thirds of the US population was under an extreme weather alert on Friday amid an Arctic winter storm.
More than 240 million people were under weather advisories on Friday, the National Weather Service said.
More than 1.5 million people across the US lost power and thousands of flights were cancelled on Friday.
The vast storm extends more than 2,000 miles from Texas to Quebec.
Temperatures in Elk Park, Montana, dropped to -45C.
Governors of New York, Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia and Oklahoma have all declared states of emergency.
A bomb cyclone, when atmospheric pressure plummets, has brought blizzard conditions to the Great Lakes on the US-Canada border.
MedStar emergency response workers found an unresponsive man outside a McDonald’s in Forth Worth.
Officials say the man was exposed to sub-freezing temperatures in the area.
The unidentified man was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
According to Fox 4 News, MedStar responded to 27 cold-related illness and injury calls through 6am on Friday.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced three deaths on Friday morning in connection to the arctic front sweeping through the state.
The deaths were reported in western Kentucky, Louisville and a third undisclosed location.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned about the risk of carbon monoxide deaths ahead of the winter storm.
The “bomb cyclone” will slam states across the Midwest and East Coast with heavy snow, below-freezing temperatures and dangerous wind chills that can cause frostbite within minutes.
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The CPSC warned that the conditions could lead to power outages and increase the use of portable generators.
“Consumers need to be especially careful when storms knock out electrical power,” the safety commission said.
“Portable generators create a risk of [carbon monoxide] poisoning that can kill in minutes.”
Carbon monoxide, also known as “CO,” is an “invisible killer” due to its colorless and odorless nature, the CPSC explained.
Exposed individuals may become unconscious before experiencing symptoms of nausea, dizziness, weakness and sometimes death.
Roughly 100million Americans have been placed under winter alerts and wind chill alerts that span across 37 states, the National Weather Service said.
Areas in the Midwest and the Plains should prepare for the coldest Christmas in 40 years after officials predicted the arctic blast will stick around the whole weekend.
Places like Des Moines, Iowa, will feel like minus 37 degrees, making it possible to suffer frostbite in less than five minutes.
In the Pacific Northwest, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow began falling on Thursday.
Wind gusts of 50 mph thrashed the area around Portland, Oregon, sending trees crashing on top of homes.
In Montana, temperatures fell as low as 50 below zero at Elk Park, a mountain pass on the Continental Divide.
In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine warned of a “unique and dangerous” situation of flash freezing Thursday night statewide.
In Buffalo, New York, forecasters predicted a “once-in-a-generation storm” because of heavy lake-effect snow, wind gusts as high as 65 mph, whiteouts and the potential for extensive power outages.
Denver was the coldest it has been in 32 years on Thursday when the temperature dropped to minus 24F.
In Charleston, South Carolina, a coastal flood warning was in effect Thursday.
On Friday morning, more than one million Americans were without power and thousands of flights were grounded just as those traveling home for Christmas headed for the airport.
Some areas have seen drifts of more than 10 feet on the roads.
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