Thousands without power in Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan after … – The Washington Post

Storms have knocked out power for more than 1 million Americans and caused at least 10 deaths, after heavy winds and possible tornadoes pummeled Kentucky, Michigan and other parts of the South and Midwest.
The severe spell of weather disrupted daily life from Dallas to Detroit, leaving downed trees and power lines in its wake.
Storms, high winds cut power to 800,000 in Tennessee Valley, South
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said Saturday that at least five Kentuckians had died as a result of the storm after the state had wind gusts of more than 70 mph and flash flooding. In Alabama, three people were killed by falling trees, and storm-related deaths were also reported in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, according to the Associated Press.
More than 10 inches of snow fell across parts of the Detroit area, where service providers DTE and Consumers Energy had already faced criticism over power outages in February.
An estimated 278,000 DTE Energy customers were still without power by Saturday afternoon, leading families across Michigan to public libraries and warming centers. Chrissy and Vince O’Neill of Ann Arbor lived without power for five days in late February — and then lost it a second time Friday night. Chrissy O’Neill, mother of four children, ages 13, 11, 8 and 4, said her family treated the outages like camping at home, albeit with plenty of restaurant dinners, as they could not use their electric stove.
“I had barely caught up with laundry and filling the fridge” when the second outage hit, she said.
Pam Murray headed to the Royal Oak Public Library in suburban Detroit to charge her phone and to allow her son to tackle some homework. “It’s packed,” she said. On Saturday afternoon, the snow and ice started melting in the sun and falling from trees in her neighborhood, which she said sounded like “somebody’s throwing bowling balls on our roof.”
“We roll with it, but it’s a hassle” to lose power, she said. “Call me in four days and I’ll be a lot angrier” if it’s not back on.
Officials are already stressing patience amid the power outages. More than 95 percent of customers should have power back by Monday night, DTE said in a statement Saturday afternoon. The power loss last month had already led to calls for hearings, municipal power supplies and other changes.
As of late Saturday afternoon, more than 330,000 customers were without power in Kentucky, and tens of thousands more also contended with blackouts in Tennessee, Ohio and West Virginia, according to PowerOutage.us.
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Both Beshear and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg declared states of emergency. Edward J. Meiman, executive director of Louisville’s emergency services, said first responders were hit by a “huge” surge in calls for help on Friday, including several water rescues and fires caused by the storm.
The governor urged patience in restoring service, saying some areas could be without power for days.
“This is very significant widespread damage throughout Kentucky,” Beshear said during a news conference. “When it comes to power, this is going to be a multiday event.”
The system is now moving east, where it could drop 8 inches of snow across some parts of the Northeast and northern New England through Saturday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service, which also warned of flooding along the coast. That heavy snowfall is more likely in Maine and parts of New Hampshire, while the Boston area and further south face rain and a wintry mix.
The Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport closed on Friday, with local media reporting that as many as 300 flights had been canceled. The airport said on Twitter around midnight Friday that it had resumed operations.
The South’s winter of tornadoes could be just a prelude to storm season
Tornado watches were also issued in regions spanning from eastern Kentucky to northern Georgia, and the Weather Service received more than 125 reports of damaging winds in that region. That comes amid record winter tornado activity over the past three months in the Deep South and the central United States, exacerbated by the unusually warm winter temperatures.
The storm in the Northeast will be followed by an “unreasonably warm” period through Monday for early March, according to the National Weather Service. The agency predicted “more tranquil” weather over the weekend for the Detroit area as well.
Another system in the Western United States has continued to dump massive amounts of snow in California, where several feet of snow are expected to fall in the Sierra Nevada this weekend.
Stein reported from Washington. Elmer reported from Detroit.
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