Winter storm and severe cold sweeps across US

By Aya Elamroussi, Derrick Hinds, Travis Caldwell, Maureen Chowdhury, Aditi Sangal and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 2117 GMT (0517 HKT) December 24, 2022
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12:54 p.m. ET, December 24, 2022

More than 1,600 flight cancellations nationwide so far on Saturday

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Luggage is seen at San Francisco International Airport due to airline cancellations on Friday.
Luggage is seen at San Francisco International Airport due to airline cancellations on Friday. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The extreme winter weather continues to impede holiday travel plans, as there are more than 1,600 flight cancellations nationwide on Saturday morning, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware.

More than 1,800 flights have also been delayed so far on Saturday.

These airports have been the most affected:

  • Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport (DTW)
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
8:45 a.m. ET, December 24, 2022

At least 15 people have died across the US during extreme winter weather

From CNN's Joe Sutton

 

Vehicles move along a highway in Louisville, Kentucky, under freezing temperatures on Friday.
Vehicles move along a highway in Louisville, Kentucky, under freezing temperatures on Friday. (Leandro Lozada/AFP/Getty Images)

At least 15 people have died across the United States as the extreme winter weather continues to impact millions of Americans.

Here's a look at details on the deaths:

  • NEW YORK: Two people died Friday night in Erie County, in separate incidents, when emergency medical personnel could not get to their homes in time for medical emergencies, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Saturday morning during a news conference.
  • WISCONSIN: Wisconsin State Patrol on Thursday reported one fatal crash due to winter weather.
  • TENNESSEE: The Tennessee Department of Health on Friday confirmed one storm-related fatality.
  • OHIO: Four people have died, according to Gov. Mike DeWine “as a result of weather-related auto accidents.”
  • KENTUCKY: Three people have died in the state. Gov. Andy Beshear announced two deaths Friday morning. An additional death was confirmed in Montgomery County due to a vehicle accident.
  • KANSAS: Three people have died in weather-related traffic accidents, the Kansas Highway Patrol told CNN on Friday.
  • MISSOURI: One person died after their caravan slid off the icy road and into a frozen creek, first responders in Kansas City Police Department said.

CNN's Amanda Musa, Caroll Alvarado, Tina Burnside, Raja Razek and Rebekah Riess contributed reporting.

8:19 a.m. ET, December 24, 2022

More than 1.6 million homes and businesses are without power. Here's a look at the impacted areas. 

The number of power outages in the US rose dramatically in the last few hours.

More than 1.6 million utility customers were without power as of about 7:50 a.m. ET, according to utility tracker PowerOutage.us. That's up from 840,000 customers at 4 a.m. ET.

The outages at 7:50 a.m. ET included:

  • 595,400 in Southeastern states including North Carolina, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida
  • 392,300 in New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island)
  • 381,000 in other southern states including Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
  • 222,000 in mid-Atlantic and northeastern states including New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware.
  • More than 40,000 outages in other parts of the country.

Strong winds with gusts of 30-50 mph are forecast for much of the Midwest and Northeast Saturday, which could lead to additional outages.

The loss of power comes as many states are experiencing subzero temperatures, and hazardous road conditions make it difficult for crews to respond quickly.

7:35 a.m. ET, December 24, 2022

Tennessee residents told to expect intermittent power interruptions today

From CNN's Rebekah Riess and Jason Hanna

Tennessee residents will see intermittent power interruptions Saturday because the frigid weather is putting a strain on the capacity of the state's federally owned electricity provider, utilities in the state said.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which provides power to more than 150 utilities throughout the state and parts of six surrounding states, told the utilities they must intermittently interrupt electricity service to customers, the utilities said.

The Nashville Electric Service told customers Saturday morning to expect “rotating, intermittent power outages” in about 10-minute increments every 90 minutes to two hours. CDE Lightband, a power company in Clarksville, Tennessee, said power would be interrupted in 15-minute intervals.

Customers should conserve as much energy as possible, CDE Lightband said. The rolling outages are expected to last until the power load is stabilized, the Nashville Electric Service said.

6:00 a.m. ET, December 24, 2022

More than 175 million people nationwide remain under wind chill alerts Saturday morning

From CNN's Haley Brink

Pedestrians cross a bridge over the Chicago River in downtown as temperatures hover in the negative single-digits on December 23, in Chicago, Illinois.
Pedestrians cross a bridge over the Chicago River in downtown as temperatures hover in the negative single-digits on December 23, in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

More than 175 million people in the US remain under wind chill alerts Saturday morning, which include both wind chill warnings and advisories.

The wind chill alerts extend from Montana down to Florida, including metro areas such as Minneapolis, St. Louis, Atlanta, Houston and Washington, DC.

The coldest wind chills Saturday morning remain across the Midwest, where temperatures are feeling like minus 20 to minus 30 degrees. Places as far south as Atlanta are experiencing negative wind chills early Saturday.

While wind chill alerts will remain for some areas Christmas morning, they are not expected to be as widespread as Saturday and have been this week. Temperatures are forecast to start rebounding for most areas Sunday through much of next week.

5:24 a.m. ET, December 24, 2022

Coast-to-coast winter storm disrupts last-minute holiday deliveries

From CNN’s Chris Isidore

If you’re hoping your last-minute Christmas gift will arrive on time, you may be out of luck.

Amazon, the US Postal Service, UPS and FedEx are warning the winter storm hitting large swaths of the United States is disrupting operations in the final delivery days before Christmas.

The US Postal Service said dozens of post offices have been temporarily closed by the storm in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa. The agency asked customers to clear snow and ice from sidewalks, stairs and mailboxes to help letter carriers make deliveries.

FedEx told US customers packages expected to be delivered Friday or Saturday could be delayed. UPS said its delays may be somewhat more localized.

Amazon also closed some facilities due to the storm, saying employees at the facilities would be paid for the canceled shifts.

UPS also said air and ground activities are being affected in Louisville, Kentucky, and Rockford, Illinois.

“As a result, some delivery and pickup services in these areas will be affected,” UPS said.
4:23 a.m. ET, December 24, 2022

Power companies make progress restoring outages, but numbers could grow as winds roar

From CNN's Derrick Hinds and Aya Elamroussi

Before daylight Saturday, utility companies were making progress restoring power to homes and businesses, after a strong winter storm knocked out electricity to more than a million customers nationwide Friday.

As of 4 a.m. ET, the number had dropped below 840,000 customers, according to PowerOutage.US.

Four states still have more than 50,000 outages:

  • Maine: 248,279
  • New Hampshire: 74,995
  • New York: 74,267
  • Virginia: 51,733

Strong winds with gusts of 30-50 mph are forecast for much of the Midwest and Northeast Saturday, which could lead to additional outages.

The loss of power comes as many states are experiencing subzero temperatures, and hazardous road conditions make it difficult for crews to respond quickly.

3:36 a.m. ET, December 24, 2022

What to do if airport luggage is delayed, lost or damaged

From CNN's Forrest Brown

It's enough to give anyone already nervous about the chaos in the skies yet another reason to pop an antacid: the prospect of delayed, lost or damaged baggage.

The concern is valid. Especially when an epic winter storm sweeps across the land the week before Christmas. Handing over checked suitcases can almost feel like a leap of faith in circumstances like that.

Scott Keyes, the founder of flight deals and travel advice site Scott's Cheap Flights, said he's encouraging people not to let news of baggage issues put them off their flights and vacations.

"Every bag that gets lost is a huge disruption for the people whose bag that is -- and I certainly don't want to downplay that -- but I do want folks to have the proper perspective that in the vast majority of cases, your flight is going to fly and your checked bag is going to arrive," Keyes told CNN.

Read more about what you can do to help avoid or at least minimize the impact of lost and delayed luggage:

2:17 a.m. ET, December 24, 2022

Fatal traffic accidents in Kansas bring storm-related deaths to 11 across US

From CNN’s Tina Burnside

Three people have died in weather-related traffic accidents in Kansas, according to police, bringing the number of storm-related deaths nationally to at least 11.

All three fatal crashes occurred in north-central Kansas on Wednesday night, according to Kansas Highway Patrol spokesperson Lt. Candice Breshears.

Deaths from the storm have been recorded by officials in three other states:

  • OHIO: Four people have died “as a result of weather-related auto accidents,” according to Gov. Mike DeWine.
  • KENTUCKY: Three people in the state have died. Gov. Andy Beshear announced two deaths Friday morning, and an additional death was later confirmed in Montgomery County due to a vehicle accident.
  • MISSOURI: One person died after their caravan slid off the icy road and into a frozen creek, first responders from the Kansas City Police Department said.

CNN's Amanda Musa, Caroll Alvarado, Raja Razek and Rebekah Riess contributed reporting.