The Latest: 14 US states no longer under rolling blackouts

US & World

Carlos Mandez waits in line to fill his propane tanks Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Houston. Customers had to wait over an hour in the freezing rain to fill their tanks. Millions in Texas still had no power after a historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge of demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state’s power grid and causing widespread blackouts. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Latest on winter weather across the U.S. (all times local):

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Southwest Power Pool says it’s no longer under an emergency alert for the utilities it covers in 14 states.

The 14 states in the central United States have seen intermittent, rolling blackouts this week as utilities face surging demand for energy during frigid, wintry weather. The states stretch from the Texas Panhandle to the Dakotas, and it does not include the majority of Texas.

Southwest Power Pool, a group of utilities covering 14 states from the Dakotas to the Texas Panhandle, says customers should still conserve energy until at least 10 p.m. Saturday but that rolling blackouts are not needed under current conditions.

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DETROIT — Crews are unlikely to safely rescue a man who fell through ice on the Detroit River, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said.

The man was with a couple of other people when he walked out onto the ice just off Belle Isle about 5 p.m. Wednesday and began “jumping up and down,” Lt. Jeremiah Schiessel said. It was “not likely” that the search would end in a rescue, he said.

“It’s not looking like this will have a good outcome,” he said. Crews were unable to get to the spot where the man was last seen because the ice was too thin, Schiessel said.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina vaccine providers have yet to receive tens of thousands of COVID-19 vaccines the federal government was set to deliver this week, state health officials announced Thursday morning.

The Department of Health and Human Services is now asking clinics to plan to postpone appointments because of the delays fueled by severe winter weather.

None of the more than 163,000 first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine scheduled to arrive this week have been delivered by President Joe Biden’s administration, the state health department said. The state also noted that only a limited number of the nearly 127,000 expected Pfizer vaccines have been shipped.

North Carolina health officials said they are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the consequences of the delay.

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MAGAZINE, Ark. — An Arkansas man has died after falling into a frozen pond while trying to rescue a calf from the water.

The Logan County Sheriff’s Office says 69-year-old Jessie Roberts was found dead Wednesday after falling into a frozen pond in Magazine, about 90 miles northwest of Little Rock.

The Logan County Sheriff’s Office says Roberts was trying to free a calf from the pond when he fell into the water. Authorities say a friend reported Roberts missing and authorities found Roberts and the calf in the frozen pond on Wednesday.

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ASHLAND, Ky. — A Kentucky woman found dead Wednesday night likely died of hypothermia after going without power and heat for two days, a coroner said.

The 77-year-old Boyd County woman’s body was found in an apartment complex by maintenance workers who were checking on her, Boyd County Coroner Mark Hammond told news outlets. There were still about 70,000 power outages Thursday morning in eastern Kentucky, down from around 150,000 outages after an ice storm hit the area Monday. With temperatures dipping into the teens, Hammond urged those without power to go to a warming station or an overnight shelter.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The White House announced Thursday that President Joe Biden has approved Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s request for a disaster declaration in response to a winter storm.

Biden on Wednesday approved the request made by Stitt after the storm dumped snow and ice on the state and brought days of subfreezing temperatures and power outages, according to the White House statement.

Biden’s approval allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and it allows for federal funding to reimburse cities, counties and tribes for the costs of emergency measures responding to the storm, including providing shelter for displaced residents.

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NEW YORK — Snow is falling in the northeastern United States, with up to 8 inches expected in the New York and New Jersey through Friday. The winter storm also is bringing ice and rain in some areas, prompting authorities to shutter at least three of New Jersey’s coronavirus vaccination sites.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said the so-called mega-sites in Burlington, Middlesex and Morris counties will reschedule appointments for the coming days. Murphy also ordered state government offices to close except for essential workers. He’s restricting commercial vehicles on highways and asking people to stay home.

New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti recommends watching a good movie. She says “‘Frozen’ is always a good choice.”

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AUSTIN, Texas — Power outages in Texas have dropped to below a half million, but the state is still facing major problems with drinking water systems.

The state’s power grid manager, the Electric Reliability of Council of Texas, says the remaining outages are largely weather-related and not ones that were forced to stabilize the state’s power grid.

Texas officials have ordered 7 million people to boil tap water before drinking it following days of record low temperatures that damaged infrastructure and froze pipes.

That’s one-quarter of the population of the nation’s second-largest state.

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At least 36 deaths have been attributed to days of severe winter weather in the United States. Traffic accidents have claimed the most lives, followed closely by the carbon monoxide poisoning of people using vehicles or generators to stay warm.

A half dozen people have died from exposure, including several whose bodies were found along Texas roadways covered in ice and snow, a Kansas woman who wandered outside in her nightgown and a Kentucky woman in an unheated mobile home.

A 75-year-old woman and her three grandchildren were killed in a house fire in Texas while officials believe they were using their fireplace to keep warm during a power outage. Three people died in a tornado in North Carolina. Three more fell through ice, into a pond in Tennessee, a lake in Oklahoma and a swimming pool in Louisiana.

And a 9-year-old boy was killed while having fun with his father in Tennessee. His dad was pulling him on a tube behind an ATV on an icy street when the boy slammed into a mailbox.

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — More than 320,000 homes and businesses were without power in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama early Thursday after a wave of storms dumped as much as 4 inches of snow and ice across a region that still had some remnants of wintry precipitation left over from earlier in the week.

Dozens of school systems canceled classes, switched to online learning or opened late, and conditions might not improve much in some places until Friday afternoon, when temperatures are finally supposed to rise above freezing for a few hours.

The largest concentration of outages was in a band across central Mississippi. Much of the rest of the Deep South was spared the worst weather.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Twelve people have been rescued from boats after a dock weighed down by snow and ice collapsed on the Cumberland River in Tennessee, the Nashville Fire Department said.

Fire crews and the Office of Emergency Management responded Wednesday evening to the Blue Turtle Bay Marina after a report that people were trapped in multiple boats when the roof over the dock collapsed, authorities said.

Nashville Fire Department spokeswoman Kendra Loney told news outlets that everyone known to be on the dock was accounted for and no one was injured. She said the weight of the ice and snow on the roof of the dock caused the collapse.

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BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote President Joe Biden on requesting a presidential emergency declaration for Louisiana, citing three deaths and thousands without electricity and water in the severe cold.

Edwards said the “extreme winter weather, including record low temperatures, snow, sleet and freezing rain, has been destructive for many areas of Louisiana, most notably through continued power and water outages across the state.”

The Democrat said federal assistance would be particularly welcome in communities still recovering from last year’s hurricanes. He said nearly a million Louisianans are having to boil their water, more than 48,000 Louisianans lack water altogether, and thousands remain without power.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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