America’s poor and homeless freeze in winter storm

 

America’s poor and homeless freeze in winter storm

By
Kate Randall

5 January 2018

Heavy snow, strong winds and bitter cold battered the US East Coast on Thursday, as a powerful system that had dropped ice, sleet and snow on the South roared up the Eastern Seaboard and pummeled the Northeast. Snow was on the ground in every state from Florida to Maine by Thursday morning.

The storm was the latest cruel volley in a cold snap that has gripped nearly every state in the Continental US in recent days. States of emergency were declared, schools and businesses shuttered, air flights and trains canceled as the authorities and the public at large dealt with blizzard conditions, coastal flooding, power outages and dangerously snowy and icy roads. State and local governments are for the most part ill prepared to deal with these conditions.

Although the federal government does not track weather-related deaths nationally, NBC News reports that the sustained period of brutally cold weather has claimed the lives of at least 20 people in the US since December 26.

The cold wave has taken at least 11 lives in the past 24 hours, according to CNN, including five in Wisconsin, four in Texas, and one each in North Dakota and Missouri. Safety officials said that three people have died as a result of the storm in North Carolina, where widespread icy road conditions and accidents have been reported across the state.

Photo Credit – Flickr User Tommy Fjordbøge

In all such weather-related disasters—hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, heat waves—society’s most vulnerable are the worst affected, and the current cold snap it is no different. The poor and homeless bear the brunt of the crisis, while authorities attempt to explain away the ensuing chaos, ineptitude and suffering as the result of…

Read more