Temperatures are usually mild SeattleKaety west was so cold that she had to walk in the snow a short distance from her tent.
“I’m not even willing to stay in it right now. It’s just so difficult,” she said of her tent on Monday.
The United States was hit hard by severe weather, with cold temperatures in the Pacific Northwest and heavy snowfall in the mountains of Northern California and Nevada.
SOCIALIST IN SEATTLE SUFFERS RECALL, AND IS MUCH DANGEROUS THANEVER
As forecasters predicted that the extreme cold from an Arctic blast could last until the weekend, officials and private organizations opened emergency shelters in Washington and Oregon for people seeking refuge.
On Sunday, snow showers from the Gulf of Alaska blew into the Pacific Northwest, dropping up to 6 inches in Seattle.
The region continues to break daily cold records. The National Weather Service reported that the lowest temperature was 17 degrees F in Seattle Monday, breaking a 1968 record. Bellingham, Washington, dropped to 7 F on Monday. This tied a 1968 record.
Officials in Oregon declared an emergency. In Multnomah County — home to Portland — about a half dozen weather shelters were open. Seattle leaders also opened at most six severe weather shelters, and the mayor declared an immediate emergency.
Utilities reported approximately 5,000 customers without power Tuesday morning – mainly in southwestern Oregon.
Further south, blowing snow in Nevada and Northern California closed key highways. Forecasters warned, however, that travel in Sierra Nevada could be difficult for several more days.
At Donner Pass in the Sierra, officials with the University of California, Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory on Monday said recent snowfall has smashed the snowiest December record of 179 inches, set in 1970. The record is now 193.7 inches as more snow is expected.
Truckee’s Northstar California Resort closed its mountain operations Monday due to blizzard conditions. The ski resort has received more than 6 feet of snow over the last 48 hours, according to the resort’s Facebook post.
The snowpack in the Sierra was at dangerously low levels after recent weeks of dry weather but the state Department of Water Resources reported on Monday that the snowpack was between 145% and 161% of normal across the range with more snow expected.
On Monday, Nevada’s northern part was hit by freezing temperatures and blinding snow. This affected travel and business. It also closed Sierra Nevada highway passes, delayed airport flights, and shut down state offices.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak commanded that no state workers other than corrections and public safety personnel be allowed to return home because of the storm.
Arizona was also hit by the recent storms that battered California and Nevada. On Friday, a record-breaking inch of rain was recorded at Phoenix’s airport. 11 inches of snow fell at Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, just outside Flagstaff.
More storms were forecast to hit the desert state starting Monday and continuing throughout the week. Snow was also expected in the greater Portland area until Tuesday morning.
Officials were planning to keep emergency shelters open for longer than originally expected, as temperatures in Oregon and Washington are not expected to rise above freezing for days.
Leaders in Seattle have stated that city shelters will be open throughout the new year. Officials said that nearly 200 people stayed at shelters on Sunday night and that they expect the number to rise.
There was enough room for about a dozen people at the shelter West used to get warm, American Legion Hall post 160.
Keith Hughes, American Legion, said that the American Legion has limited capacity due to a lack of volunteers.
“Volunteers, this is a problem for myself as well as everyone else in town, it’s really hard to get with COVID going on,” he said, adding there were plans to keep the space open for about 10 days.
Hughes stated that the Legion post was closed for three days last time it opened its doors as a warming center.
“The longer it goes on the harder it’s going to be on people that don’t have a place to get out of this,” Hughes said. “We’ll continue to help people as much as possible.”
Source: Fox News