Fierce winter storm hits US, Canada, kills at least 19 as temperatures drop to 45 degrees

Some Americans have reached for burning clothing to keep warm, it was reported after a monster winter storm hit the continent.

At least 19 people in the US were killed – including four in a 50-car pileup – when a “bomb cyclone” wreaked havoc with snow, freezing temperatures and high winds, the reported New York Post.

CNN has stated that both Atlanta and Philadelphia are likely to be in the midst of their coldest Christmas Eves ever. Temperatures in New York City dropped to -14C overnight, with the ‘perceived’ temperature dropping further to -24C. The city will only hit -8C on Christmas Eve and won’t even get above freezing.

Around 250 million Americans, three-fourths of the country, are in the grip of the winter weather storm, which also extends to Canada.

Freezing conditions have been recorded from Texas in southern America to Quebec across the border.

Elk Park in Montana saw the mercury drop to -45C.

19 killed in severe conditions

Three people died in weather-related accidents in Oklahoma, and three others died on icy roads in Kentucky, Fox Weather reported.

Another person was killed after their vehicle overturned in Missouri, and one person died in Texas after prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.

At least four people were killed and several others injured in a 50-car pile-up in treacherous “white-out” conditions in Ohio on Friday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OHSP) said.

The big pile-up began forming after a second crash around 12:30 p.m., officials said.

“Our condolences go out to the families who lost a loved one during this severe weather situation in Ohio,” Governor Mike DeWine said in a statement.

“Road conditions remain very dangerous across the state, with white outs and extremely cold temperatures. Please stay at home if possible and be vigilant in these extremely dangerous road conditions.”

Burning clothes to keep warm

In South Dakota, there are reports of Native Americans burning clothing to keep warm.

That Darsha Dodge Rapid City Journal said the state’s Native American tribal leaders appealed after being hit by massive snowfalls.

The reserve has seen a 12-foot snowdrift.

“We’re in a really dire situation down here,” said Anna Halverson of the Pass Creek Tribal Council.

“We’ve got tunnels as tall as some houses that stretch 60, 70 yards in an hour.”

People on the reservation typically use wood stoves or propane tanks to keep warm, Ms Halverson said, but some had run out of supplies.

“We cannot reach them with deliveries because of the roads. Many of our members across the reservation don’t have propane because the propane companies can’t get to their tanks to fill them,” she said.

“I’ve seen across the reserve that some members were burning clothes in their wood stove because they didn’t have access to wood.”

In the US, around 1.4 million people are without electricity, while in Canada, around 400,000 people in Ontario and Quebec are without electricity.

More than 1,800 flights in the United States were canceled on Saturday due to the storm.

Originally billed as a violent winter storm across the US and Canada, at least 19 people die as temperatures drop to 45 degrees

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