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Gigantic US winter storm leaves millions without power and cancels holiday plans

The w​inter storm that forecasters dubbed Elliott intensified into a bomb cyclone near the Great Lakes on Friday, bringing high winds and blizzard conditions from the Northern Plains to western and upstate New York, along with life-threatening flooding, flash-freezing and travel chaos as it went.

Airline cancellations topped 5,700 flights, with tens of thousands of holiday travellers grounded in airports with limited expectations of making further progress. Travel on the roads was disrupted due snowy weather or crashes and authorities in parts of Indiana, Michigan, New York and Ohio urged motorists to avoid nonessential travel.

Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN the US aviation system “is operating under enormous strain”. About 10% of US flights were canceled on Thursday, Buttigieg said.

The storm, estimated to be 2,000 miles wide, has produced driving snow and plummeting temperatures, knocking out power from Texas to Maine. Officials ordered cars off the roads as US forecasters warned of “potentially crippling impacts across central and eastern” parts of the country.

The arrival of the arctic blast produced widespread disruption to utilities, with more than 1.5m households estimated to be without power. At the White House, after Joe Biden was briefed on Elliot, the president said: “This is not like a snow day when you were a kid. This is serious stuff.”

About 200 million people in the 48 contiguous states were under extreme weather alerts, said forecaster Bob Oravec of the National Weather Service (NWS). An advisory warned that the powerful cold front would engulf the eastern US tonight “with widespread dangerous cold expected to continue across much of the eastern two-thirds of the US into the holiday weekend”.

“Rapid temperature drops, sometimes 50 or more degrees colder than the previous day,” Oravec told the Associated Press. “It’s a pretty powerful system.”

The precipitous drop in temperatures was accompanied by high winds. A 79-mph gust was recorded in downtown Buffalo, New York, where snow fall produced.

“There are some people in Buffalo saying this is one of the worst storms they’ve ever seen,” said the city’s mayor, Byron W Brown. “Buffalo is used to dealing with normal snowfall. We are dealing with it fine, but certainly it is a very challenging storm”.

In Ohio, what was described as a “mass casualty incident” was declared on Interstate 75 after more than 100 vehicles piled up in the conditions. The police department in Memphis, Tennessee, said a man found on Union Avenue on Friday had died from exposure to the frosty weather.

Forecasters had said the scale of the weather pattern was nearly unprecedented in its scope, exposing than 200 million people –to some sort of winter advisory or warning. The weather service’s map “depicts one of the greatest extents of winter weather warnings and advisories ever,” forecasters said.

Tens of thousands of homes have been left without power, and governors in at least 13 states have drawn up emergency response plans, including National Guard deployments, for the holiday weekend, with heavy snow and ice creating treacherous road conditions and some drivers stranded.

Temperatures in Colorado on Thursday dipped to a record-breaking low of -9F (-22.7C) from 42F (5.5C), while Cheyenne, Wyoming, recorded its greatest one-hour temperature drop, plunging from 43F to 3F in the space of 30 minutes.

The NWS said temperatures of -50F to -70F were possible over the weekend in some parts of the US, warning that even in big metropolitan areas such as Des Moines, Iowa, frostbite could become a significant danger.

Ahead of one of the busiest travel periods of the year, the American Automobile Association (AAA) said more than 112 million people planned to travel 50 miles (80 km) or more from home between 23 December and 2 January.

Even though fleets of snow plows and salt trucks have been deployed across the US, driving was extremely dangerous and even deadly. Kansas City police spokesperson Donna Drake said a minivan driver died Thursday after loosing control on icy streets and overturning into a creek.

In Kentucky three people died on the roads, Governor Andy Beshear announced on Friday morning. Beshear added that the state’s National Guard was delivering blankets to the Kentucky state police to distribute to stranded drivers on Interstate 71 and escorting some to shelters.

New York’s governor, Kathy Hochul , declared an emergency, saying the threat of flooding and ice jams blocking rivers would “wreak a lot of havoc in our community”. The Ohio governor, Mike DeWine, called it “a unique and dangerous situation”.

In Georgia, where temperatures in the north were forecast to hit -12C, with subzero wind chills, the governor Brian Kemp said the state was “expecting weather we haven’t seen in a decade or more”.

More than half of the so-called lower 48 states, from Washington state to Florida, are under winter weather alerts, including wind chill advisories affecting about 135 million people, said Ashton Robinson Cook of the weather service’s prediction centre.

The NWS has described the storm as “once in a generation” weather event, saying more than 100 daily cold temperature records could be equalled or broken over the coming days. Florida is projected to experience its coldest Christmas in 30 years.

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Police arrest husband of missing Massachusetts woman

BOSTON (AP) — The husband of a missing Massachusetts woman was arrested Sunday for allegedly misleading investigators, according to the office of Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey.

Massachusetts State Police and local police took Brian Walshe, 46, of Cohasset, Massachusetts into custody after concluding they had “probable cause” to believe he had misled investigators into the search for his 39-year-old wife, Ana Walshe. She has been missing since New Year’s Day.

The announcement of Brian Walshe’s arrest came after Massachusetts State Police and local police said in a joint statement that their ground search for Ana Walshe or evidence related to her disappearance concluded Saturday.

A specialized State Police unit trained in search and rescue operations, three K-9 teams and the State Police Air Wing searched wooded areas near Walshe’s home Saturday. State Police divers searched a small stream and a pool but did not find anything, the statement said. The Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council also helped with the search.

Walshe, the mother of three young children, was last seen a week ago in her Cohasset home, police said.

She was reported missing Wednesday by her husband in Cohasset and her employer in Washington, according to The Patriot Ledger. The couple owns a home in Washington and Walshe commutes during the week for work at a real estate company, her friends said.

While police searched for Walshe on Friday, there was a fire at a home in Cohasset she owned until last year. The home was sold in March. State Police and local investigators determined the cause of the fire was accidental. The current occupants escaped safely.

The investigation into Walshe’s disappearance is ongoing. Authorities returned to her home Sunday, while detectives from Cohasset and the State Police were also in Washington investigating, according to The Boston Globe.

Brian Walshe, is awaiting sentencing in a fraud case involving the sale of fake Andy Warhol paintings, according to court records. Cohasset police said Walshe’s disappearance and her husband’s case seem to be two very separate things, The Boston Globe reported.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on the latest charges in Quincy District Court. It was unclear if Brian Walshe has an attorney and a phone number for him could not be found.
Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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The top 10 real estate markets seeing the biggest changes. Some

As the U.S. housing market cools down, bidding wars are now a distant memory and many homebuyers and sellers are waiting to see how prices shake out before making a move.

Nationwide, the number of days homes stayed on the market rose by 67% to 35 days in October, up from 21 days last October, showing that higher mortgage rates —which have doubled since last year — have combined with inflation and pessimism about the economy to weigh on the real estate market.

But housing market conditions at the local level varied greatly, according to a report by House Method.

“A lot of the metros where there was a huge decrease in the days on market were a lot of very small, less expensive towns and metros,” says Caroline Jones, who analyzed data for Housing Method. “It shows that many people are not really able to afford a house in the more popular, more expensive metros anymore.”

This list of locations where homes spent fewer days on the market was dominated by Pennsylvania metros, four of which, including Harrisburg and Lancaster, stayed on the market for just over a week on average. The median sale price in that state rose 9.5% from $192,000 in October 2021 to $210,000 in 2022, well below the U.S. median home price of $379,100.

Housing market predictions:Six experts weigh in on the real estate outlook in 2023
Top 10 real estate markets for 2023:Goodbye COVID boomtowns, hello mid-sized markets
Housing market:What’s happening with the housing market? Mortgage rates, home prices and affordability.

By contrast, homes in Midwestern markets appear to be selling fast, with Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, and Nebraska among the top 10.

Some of the markets that saw the biggest percentage increase in the amount of time homes took to sell were places that also saw big price increases during the pandemic.

For instance, in North Port, Florida, the number of days homes took to sell rose by 263% this October compared with the same time last year. Just before the pandemic, in February 2020, the median price of a home sold in North Port stood at $230,000. In July 2022, it had shot up to $410,000.

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Top 10 Trusted IT Companies in USA 2023

The companies are shortlisted based on many parameters like client reviews, work experience, development skills, average hourly rate, project size, company strength and many more.

Growth, demand, ROI, and achieving goals are the things that every business desires to achieve quickly. One of the more reliable ways to achieve them is by stepping into the digital world with the help of IT companies. IT companies offer various services and solutions to businesses that can help them to enhance their working ability and services making it accurate to match the international level.

As each stage of the business demands expertise in different technologies, reaching out to top IT companies seems to be the best option to get accurate results. IT companies offer digital solutions that increase sales, define goals, manage stock, enhance skills, and more with minimal effort. They make sure to enhance every stage of business starting from the management to sales to make it more efficient and effortless which saves a lot of time and is valuable for all businesses. 

As there are tons of IT companies available offering top-notch services to the businesses out there, it becomes a task to sort the top IT companies which have the knowledge and experience to handle any situation.

To make your work easy TopSoftwareCompanies.co made a list of the top 10 IT companies in USA browsing the companies located in different cities such as Florida, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more.

The companies are shortlisted based on many parameters like client reviews, work experience, development skills, average hourly rate, project size, company strength and many more.

The List of Top 10 Popular IT Companies in USA 2023

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