Northwestern states of the US are on alert due to a new winter storm


Parts of the Northwest United States were under a winter storm alert until Wednesday morning, threatening to add to the damage caused by a powerful winter system that hit the region over the weekend.

In the southwest of the state of Washington and western Oregon, including the cities of Portland, Salem, and Eugene, 6 to 25 millimeters of ice were expected, while freezing rain was anticipated for the Seattle area.

Schools were closed in many places, bus services were reduced, and shelters were opened for the homeless. Authorities warned of poor road conditions and the possibility of new power outages as crews worked to restore service for thousands of customers who had been without electricity for days.

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The forecast comes as much of the United States faces frigid weather that, in some parts, jeopardizes the power supply. Another day of freezing temperatures swept through much of the Rockies, the Great Plains, and the central and northern parts of the country on Tuesday, with a wind chill of -34.4 degrees extending to the mid-Mississippi Valley. On the East Coast, New York and Philadelphia experienced heavy snowfall.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which supplies electricity in seven states, asked its customers to voluntarily reduce consumption due to the increased demand for energy caused by the cold. The grid operator in Texas made a similar request.

In Oregon, transportation authorities closed 76 kilometers on Interstate 84, a major highway that crosses the country from east to west, from Portland through the Columbia River Gorge, due to the threat of ice.

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In the mountains, the National Weather Service warned of heavy snowfall in the Cascade Range with wind gusts of up to 80 kilometers/hour, along with freezing rain and ice, making travel "very difficult or impossible." Authorities issued a storm alert until Thursday afternoon.

The Northwest is more known for rain and does not usually experience such arctic temperatures, but the region, with its dense forests, is particularly prone to falling trees and power lines, especially during ice storms.