A winter storm that battered much of the country, from the Deep South to the nation's northeastern tip, set sail off the Atlantic leaving behind bitter cold Saturday.
Tens of thousands of Americans woke up without power as up to 17 inches of snow and ice covered parts of New York State, Vermont, Indiana, and Maine, federal forecasters said.
Utility crews at Memphis Light, Gas and Water were working through the weekend to restore power to as many as 90,000 customers who went dark amid what its executives were calling "the ice storm of 2022."
They were hindered by falling ice, said utility CEO J.T. Young at a Saturday evening press conference.
"With the ice melting, there are things falling," he said.
The company had a goal of restoring power to 25,000 to 30,000 customers by midnight. The electricity outages came amid below-freezing temperatures Saturday.
The National Weather Service warned Americans that “bitterly cold temperatures will span an area from the Southern Plains to the Ohio Valley and Northeast."
A wave of normal to above-normal temperatures was expected to fill in some cold-impacted regions, from the Northern Plains into the Central Plains, federal forecasters said.
Weak, upper-level ridging was expected to help the sun triumph Sunday, they said. "However, from parts of the Upper Midwest to the Northeast it will remain chilly," the weather service said in a weather statement.
In Tennessee, just under 82,000 utility customers were without power Saturday night, according to tracking site poweroutage.us. In New York state that figure was 26,298.
Parts of Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and North Dakota have been placed under winter advisory warnings into the weekend, the NWS said. But by Sunday things would gradually start to warm up, it added.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul deployed 24 members of the National Guard to support recovery efforts in Ulster County “as a severe winter storm continues to affect the Mid-Hudson Region with heavy ice and snow,” her office said in a news release Friday.
“The state will deploy additional assets to support recovery operations for as long as is needed,” Hochul said.
She had previously warned residents to stay home if possible to avoid ice-coated roadways and the threat of falling tree limbs in the Hudson Valley and Capital regions, according to the Associated Press.
“We’re not out of the danger zone yet,” she said. “The weather is wildly unpredictable.”
As roads became slippery, there were hundreds of car crashes.
“Patrols were going from one crash to another,” Massachusetts’ State Police tweeted Friday, adding that one person had died.
Officers had responded to at least 200 accidents since Thursday, the force said. “This number is most definitely low because reports are still being written and entered,” it added.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul warned residents as the snow blows out to sea late Saturday to stay home if possible to avoid ice-coated roadways and the threat of falling tree limbs in the Hudson Valley and Capital regions, according to the Associated Press.
“We’re not out of the danger zone yet,” Hochul said. “The weather is wildly unpredictable.”
Further south, the clean up from a reported tornado which tore through Tennessee Thursday continued. Robert Knecht, Memphis’ public works director, said Thursday night said that 225 trees had been downed on the city's streets.
They were in the minority, but the heavy snowfall was welcomed by some. Skiers and snowboarders in Vermont were happy to report some of the best conditions of the season.
“We’re just having a blast, the sauce is flowing,” one told the AP.