Snowstorm leaves at least 14 dead in Tennessee as frigid temperatures, ice slams Northeast


At least 14 Tennesseans have died as a result of a bitterly cold winter storm that dumped snow across the southern state this week, officials said.

Parts of Nashville have seen more than 9 inches of snow since Sunday — nearly double the city’s annual average snowfall. 

Even when the flakes stopped falling, temperatures plummeted to below zero in parts of the state, creating the largest power demand the Tennessee Valley Authority, which serves seven states in the region, has ever experienced.

Authorities have warned that a new thin layer of ice could cover the already treacherous roads on Thursday night, when temperatures again drop to single digits.

Tennessee has seen the most deaths of any state across the US, where more than two dozen have fallen victim to the winter weather this week.

The deaths include a box truck driver who was killed after he slid into a tractor-trailer on an interstate; a man who fell through a skylight while shoveling the roof of his business; and a woman died of hypothermia after she was found unresponsive in her home, officials said.

There have been at least three fatal car crashes caused by the storm, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. There were an additional 200 wrecks that caused injuries and 600 where no one was hurt, the agency said.

At least 14 deaths in Tennessee have been linked to a storm system that blanketed the state in snow. AP
People help a stranded driver during the storm in Nashville. AP
Workers in Portland attempt to restore power to the area after the storm. AP

Shelby County, home to Memphis, reported the most deaths as of midweek with five. However, details remain limited about the state’s 14 deaths out of privacy concerns for the victims’ families. 

Cory Mueller, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Nashville said that another cold spell is expected this weekend — making Monday the first chance for significant thaw.

“At least in Tennessee, it takes a little bit to get the roads cleared up,” Mueller said. “With the cold temperatures, that led to the snow staying on the roads much longer.”

Meanwhile, the snow-covered Pacific Northwest is also facing dangerous weather conditions again as freezing rain and gusts of up to 40 mph are expected to wallop parts of Oregon Thursday night.

A fishing boat ran aground after the storm in Portland. AP
The Tennessee State Capitol was covered in snow following the storm system. AP
Workers clear snow in Portland after the powerful storm. AP

Most Portland-area school districts canceled classes for a third straight day due to slick roads and water damage from burst frozen pipes.

On Wednesday, two adults and a teenager were tragically electrocuted to death in Portland after a tree and a power line fell on a truck as powerful winds ripped through the city.

In Western New York, three people have perished during the icy weather in the past three days — two died while clearing snow and a third was hit by a car while swiping snow from his car, state officials said. A travel ban was finally lifted in the area on Thursday.

Five New York women from the same family were struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 81 in northeastern Pennsylvania after they left their vehicles following a separate crash on the slick roadway.

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