The Capitol in Washington, immediately before the strong storm began this Monday on the east coast of the United StatesJIM LO SCALZO (EFE)
Strong storms, with gusts of up to 130 square kilometers in some places, have wreaked havoc on the East Coast of the United States, killing at least two people after crossing an area that stretches from New York in the north to Tennessee in the south and a third of the population of the entire country is concentrated. Thousands of flights have been canceled and more than a million people have lost power.
The US Weather Agency had warned that the storm, which was moving from west to east after passing through the central states, could trigger flash floods from its heavy rains, generate heavy hail and even generate tornadoes, a very rare phenomenon in the United States. East Coast. It had issued a level three alert, out of a maximum of five, for the entire affected area.
The advisory was raised to level four for the highest risk area, which included Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. It was the first time in a decade that the US capital had received such a high weather alert.
The threat of the storm caused the federal Administration to close its offices at three in the afternoon, two hours in advance of the usual time, so that officials could return to their homes with margin before the storm broke out. The president himself, Joe Biden, brought his schedule forward to take off ninety minutes ahead of schedule from Washington on the tour that began this Monday through the southwestern states of the country to promote his economic program. The Agency’s recommendation was to avoid being out on the street and seek refuge at home, at work or inside sturdy buildings.
Several of the main US airports in the area hit by the rains canceled thousands of flights. At the end of the night, 2,600 were still suspended, while more than 7,000 accumulated delays. Hardest hit was Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, which was battered by another storm on Sunday.
In the town of Anderson, South Carolina, a fifteen-year-old teenager was killed when a tree fell on him, blown down by strong winds as he was getting out of a car to visit his grandfather. In Alabama, a 28-year-old man has died after being struck by lightning, according to local television station WAAY.
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Following the passage of the storm front, more than 1.1 million customers have lost power in eleven states, from Alabama to New Jersey, according to poweroutage.us. Tennessee is one of the states hardest hit by the losses and estimates that it will take several days to restore service to all those who have lost it.
In the area of the capital, despite the serious alerts, the storm passed with less force than feared and no tornadoes were detected. Local stations warn of fallen trees in various areas. Several tens of thousands of people are without power in the area that includes Maryland, the District of Columbia and northern Virginia, according to The Washington Post.
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