A mammoth storm threatened to dump mounds of fresh snow, sleet and ice on about 100 million people — a third of the US — yesterday as it barreled eastward across the US.
High winds and freezing rain threatened to turn roads into deadly ice rinks and knock down trees and power lines and forecasts warned of dangerously cold temperatures.
Blizzard, winter storm and freezing rain warnings were issued for more than half of the country’s 50 states, from North Dakota and Colorado down to New Mexico, then up through Texas, Kansas and Missouri to the Great Lakes region and across Pennsylvania to New England.
For Chicago, the National Weather Service said that the “dangerous multifaceted” storm with high winds and heavy snowfall with make travel “impossible” at times. “Do not travel,” it warned residents.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urged residents to prepare in earnest for the fury of the storm.
“A storm of this size and scope needs to be taken seriously,” FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said. “It’s critical that the public does its part to get ready.”
Scores of schools and government offices were already closed in anticipation of dangerous conditions, while airlines warned of significant delays and cancellations and offered customers a chance to rebook flights at no fee.
The worst of the storm was expected yesterday afternoon and evening as a large amount of moisture sucked up from the Gulf of Mexico feeds the huge system and is transformed into snow and thunderstorms. Powerful winds and heavy snow could create whiteout conditions and drifts as high as 1.8m to 2.4m, making travel impossible.
“Lurking behind this impressive winter storm is a powerful shot of Arctic air as a frigid surface high drops down from central Canada,” the National Weather Service said.
Officials warned the public to stay at home rather than try to brave the crippling and potentially record-breaking storm.
As much as 45cm of snow was expected in the Chicago area and officials warned that plows would not be able keep up, making side streets impassable. Many other areas were predicted to get over 30cm of snow.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread