Millions asked to turn off electricity as winter storm batters the US
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Lev Dolgachov / Alamy Stock Photo
Millions have been asked to turn off their electricity as a winter storm is triggering travel chaos across the US.
More than 180 million Americans are facing freezing subzero temperatures, as low as -40F, as Storm Elliott is set to rip through the country.
A major US grid operator in Pennsylvania has asked the public to cut back on electricity use as much as possible.
PJM Interconnection, who look after roughly 65 million people, want households to postpone usage of non-essential appliances.
The company is asking consumers to reduce their use of electricity, if health permits, between the hours of 4am on December 24, 2022 and 10am on December 25, 2022.
This includes, postponing use of major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers, while also turning off 'non-essential' electric lights, equipment and appliances.
By conserving electricity, PJM say this 'will help ensure adequate power supplies'.
"PJM continues to carefully monitor the power supply conditions. It will do everything possible to keep power flowing in the region," the grid operator has said.
"If necessary, PJM may take additional steps, such as reducing voltage. PJM is coordinating efforts among generators, power suppliers and local utilities.
"PJM is communicating about the situation with state government officials throughout the region."
President Joe Biden has also provided an update to reporters on the severe winter weather conditions.
"You know, it’s dangerous and threatening. This is really a very serious weather alert here," he said.
"So I encourage everyone — everyone, please heed the local warnings. We’ve contacted — we’ve tried to contact 26 governors so far in affected regions.
"And — and go to Weather.gov — Weather.gov for more information.
"And I know this is — you know, it’s like — this is not like a snow day, you know, when you were a kid; this is serious stuff.
"And my team is prepared to help communities weather this — no pun intended — this storm, this — this freeze, and — because we need to cope. They need to be able to cope if it’s necessary.
"I’m going to, shortly, be briefed by — by both FEMA and the National Weather Service, and we’re going to start that briefing.
"And — but in the meantime, please take this storm extremely seriously. And I don’t know whether your bosses will let you, but if you all have travel plans, leave now. "