UPDATED 8:05 AM PT — Friday, February 8, 2019
A winter weather advisory is in effect for much of the Midwest as another major storm brings freezing rain, snow and temperatures well below zero.
The brunt of the storm will slam states from Nebraska through Michigan, while further south rain thunderstorms and flooding will hit Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana.
In Michigan thousands of customers are without power, and utility crews are working around the clock to restore electricity.
“It was more freezing rain than we expected, the second round we had, the lines and the trees were already under stress, and that’s why we saw such a rapid increase in power outages,” explained Roger Morgenstern, Consumer Energy Senior Public Information Director.
In Portland, Michigan 50 residents were evacuated from their home near Grand River after an ice jam caused flooding.
“We do know there’s been some damage to the basements, and flooding of a lot of the local businesses here on Kin Street,” said Portland City Manager Tutt Gorman. “Obviously, we have a historic and traditional downtown, so preservation of those building is very important.”
Multiple deaths have already been attributed to the storm, and hundreds of schools are shut down.
The blizzard conditions forced officials in Minnesota and the Dakotas to issue “no travel advisories.” Many roads and highways have been closed, including Interstate 94 in North Dakota. Interstate 29 was shutdown in South Dakota from Sioux Falls to the North Dakota border.
Meanwhile, the Windy City is under a wind advisory with 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts expected, and some areas of Chicago could see wind chills around 20 below zero.
The storm is forecast to last through Friday, but cold temperatures will remain throughout next week.