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Nearly one million without power as US faces two monster winter storms

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Nearly 1 million customers are without power in the U.S. as two monster winter storms bring blizzard conditions, heavy snow, ice and rain to large swaths of the country.

The vast majority of the outages are in Michigan, where more than 820,000 customers are without power amid an ice storm.

A volunteer firefighter in Paw Paw, Michigan, died Wednesday evening when a power line fell on him, according to Paw Paw Fire Chief Jim DeGroff. The buildup of ice caused a tree limb to snap the line, DeGroff said.

In the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, blizzard conditions and heavy snow topping 1 foot are halting travel. Some snow drifts have blanketed roads, shutting down highways.

And gusty winds and bitter cold temperatures aren’t making it for easy for power crews to restore service to areas facing outages.

In Minneapolis, where schools are closed, the blowing snow will start to improve Thursday night, but bitter cold temperatures will be moving in.

Thursday afternoon and evening, the storm will move into the Northeast, dropping an additional 3 to 6 inches of snow in northern New England.

Buffalo, New York, is forecast to see freezing rain and sleet Thursday night, causing slick conditions on the roads.

Parts of New York state, Connecticut and Massachusetts will get rain and a wintry mix. Coupled with a flash freeze in southern New England, a dangerous layer of ice could form on roads.

In the West, Portland, Oregon, recorded 10.8 inches of snow on Wednesday, marking the second-biggest day of snowfall in recorded history.

In Salt Lake City, nearly 17 inches of snow fell, which is one of the city’s top 9 biggest snowstorms.

Snow even fell in the Las Vegas metro area and mixed with rain in the Los Angeles suburbs.

In California, residents are bracing for heavy rain and possible flooding this weekend.

A rare blizzard warning was also issued for Southern California where up to 8 feet of snow is expected in the highest elevations in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains.

And in the South, residents are encountering record-breaking heat.

Atlanta hit 81 degrees Wednesday, marking the city’s hottest February temperature on record.

The temperature in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Nashville climbed to 85 degrees on Thursday, setting new records for both city’s hottest February day ever.

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