The intense snowstorm unleashed in recent hours on large sections of the Great Plains and Midwestern regions of the United States, where some 200 million people live, caused closures of roads and airports, power cuts and overflows of rivers.
The storm, a "cyclonic bomb" similar to the one that crossed the same region on March 13, leaving millionaire damage and at least four dead, unloaded a large amount of snow mainly in Nebraska and South Dakota, states that have not yet been recovered from the floods caused by the previous storm.
But precisely because of this experience, this time the governors of the affected states took preventive measures early enough to prevent the circulation of vehicles on the roads and so that emergency personnel were already on alert to perform rescues or respond to accidents.
The international airport of St. Paul, in Minneapolis, in the state of Minnesota, where the storm arrived before crossing into Canada, was forced to order all aircraft to remain on land until the storm passes.
At the Denver aerodrome in Colorado, 183 flights were canceled and 44 suffered significant delays due to the "cyclone bomb".
In Colorado, the governor, Jared Polis, activated the National Guard to help motorists stuck on the roads, although that intervention was not necessary because, contrary to what happened a month ago, the main interstate routes remained closed until this morning.
The governor of Nebraska, Pete Ricketts, asked the residents not to circulate through the streets of that state and, by the strong winds (up to 100 kilometers per hour) and the accumulation of snow (from 30 to 60 centimeters), ordered the closure of Interstate 80, which will remain closed, at least partially, until Friday.
The same storm produced heavy rains and hail in the southeastern and south-central parts of Nebraska this Wednesday night, prompting Ricketts to extend the declaration of disaster zone for his state until May 15.
In South Dakota, local media reported that some 10,000 homes and businesses today lacked electricity because of the poles that were knocked down by the storm or falling trees on power lines. In addition, roads in the northeast of that state remain closed due to reports of numerous accidents.
In Minnesota, another 10,000 users were reported without electrical services, especially in the south of the state, as well as the closure of Interstate 35 south of Minneapolis due to multiple accidents.
And in Iowa, the new storm, coupled with the spring melt, generated new floods in the Missouri River basin and its tributaries.
According to preliminary estimates, flood damage in Iowa and Nebraska, including destruction of property and loss of livestock and crops, will exceed $ 3 billion, local media reported.
"We believe that this is a historic storm because of the strong and widespread snowfall, we are going to reach new records," said Mike Connelly of the National Weather Service (NWS) in Aberdeen, South Dakota.