Southwest collapse causes U.S. air chaos after winter storm

By: News Team

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Southwest collapse causes U.S. air chaos after winter storm

Thousands of flight cancellations by Southwest caused chaos at airports in the United States on Tuesday, which is recovering from the passage of winter storm Elliot.

Only today 2,888 flights were canceled in the country, of which 2,509 are from the Southwest company. The situation will last until Thursday: there are already 2348 canceled flights in the country, most of them from the company based in Dallas (Texas), according to the registration of the Flight Aware portal at 01:00 hours GMT.

The U.S. on Tuesday demanded that the company give compensation and refunds to passengers and warned that the storm, which subsided days ago, can no longer be used as an excuse.

The country’s Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, said in an interview with the ABC network that his government will do what is necessary for the company, based in Dallas (Texas), “to fulfill its obligations” and attributed the chaos at airports to a “failure in the system” of the airline itself.

To try to alleviate the financial cost that cancellations have had on users, several major U.S. airlines, including American, United and Delta, announced they would impose a cap on tickets from some cities until next Monday, US media reported.

Southwest posted on its website that users with canceled flights can request a refund and those who plan to travel between now and January 3 can change their trip at no additional cost.

According to Flight Aware, the airports most affected by cancellations and delays are Denver (Colorado), Las Vegas (Nevada), Midway Chicago (Illinois) and Baltimore (Maryland), which covers the US capital, Washington.

THE NUMBER OF DEATHS DUE TO WINTER STORM INCREASES

Winter storm Elliot, which hit the country last week with freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall and hurricane-force winds, has already left more than 50 deaths nationwide, with western New York state being the hardest-hit area with 37 deaths reported Wednesday.

The region’s top political official, Mark Poloncarz, said the County Health Department “has confirmed another 3 deaths.”

These three new fatalities are added to the other three announced this morning and the 31 that had been announced yesterday.

Of those 37 people, 17 were found in the street, nine died from lack of heating, four were found in a vehicle, four others died from heart problems and three because the emergency medical service could not arrive in time.

Buffalo, in New York’s Eire County, was the area hardest hit by the storm. The president of the United States, Joe Biden, decreed a state of emergency there and local authorities raised the death toll to 34 on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the authorities of the area continue the work of repair and removal of snow, especially in the municipality of Buffalo, capital of Erie, where it continues to be prohibited to circulate with vehicles.

The police of this city explained that 450 machines are working on cleaning the streets and the mayor, Byron Brown, announced the opening of eleven bus lines, as well as the train.

Brown also explained that of the more than 100,000 homes that were left without electricity by the storm, there are still 500 homes that have not recovered power.

The virulence of the storm in northwestern New York, which left fifty dead throughout the country, led President Joe Biden to approve the emergency declaration for the state of New York, to facilitate the federal aid necessary to alleviate its effects and care for those affected.

After the passage of Elliot, however, the center, south and east of the country will experience in the coming days, facing the New Year, a rapid rise in temperatures.

The National Weather Service (NWS) detailed in a statement that “temperatures well above average” are expected in these areas by the end of the week.

The agency predicted, for example, that in states such as Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas there will be lows of 60 °F (15 °C) and highs of 70 °F (21 °C), 20 degrees above average this season.

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