Police, fire, and public workers cleaning up debris affecting power lines in Memphis, Tennessee.

The first week of February was brought in with blocked highways, school closures, and canceled flights due to Winter Storm Landon. Impacting 90 million people across 21 states, Landon has proven to be historic.

Ice accumulation caused by the storm was responsible for nearly 250,000 homes and businesses experiencing power outages. According to poweroutage.us, the top state for outages was Tennessee with 139,513. Some 42,047 outages were reported in Texas, while Ohio reported 27,492. Arkansas experienced 22,186 outages and Kentucky reported 17,201 outages.

The blast of frigid weather, which began arriving the night of Feb. 1, put a long stretch of states from New Mexico and Colorado to Maine under winter storm warnings and watches. The next morning Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan saw freezing rain, sleet and snow, reported Associated Press.

“Toledo, OH could be looking at their biggest snowfall in 100 years. The National Weather Service forecast is for 16 inches, which would rank second behind 20.2 inches in 1900,” reported CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

Motorists navigate the northbound, left, and southbound lanes of Interstate 90-40 during a snowy morning, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Chicago. A major winter storm with millions of Americans in its path brought a mix of rain, freezing rain and snow to the middle section of the United States as airlines canceled hundreds of flights, governors urged residents to stay off roads and schools closed campuses.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

In Texas, the Dallas/Fort Worth weather service office stated that dangerous wind chills as low as five below zero was forecast.  

The freezing rain and record-breaking snow resulted in 5,000 flight cancellations on Feb. 3 across the country, while the day prior saw 2,300 flight cancellations.

The punishing weather hammering America will continue and increase as Allah (God) is punishing the country for its evil perpetrated against the Black and Indigenous man and woman, warned the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam. Mr. Muhammad prophesized the four great judgments coming against America are: rain, hail, snow and earthquakes. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, his top student and National Representative, echoes his teacher’s warnings.

Both men caution America is being punished for its historical ill-treatment of Blacks in America. But Min. Farrakhan also warned Black America, of the price it will also pay for their ill-treatment of one another. “All of us deserve a whipping,” he declared in his 2014 address, “How Strong Is Our Foundation; Can We Survive? Pt. 2”.

“You’re going to clean up, or the whipping is coming. What’s going to happen? The intensity of the whipping is going to increase. The weather is going to get worse, and the calamities are going to get worse,” the Minister stated emphatically. 

Eric Klein, of Canandaigua, tries to dig out his car on Franklin Street in Rochester, N.Y., with a bucket after a snowstorm dumped at least a foot of snow overnight, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Klein said he was unprepared for the snow and had spent the night in Rochester. (Tina MacIntyre-Yee/Democrat & Chronicle via AP)

First responders in Austin, Texas, responded to nearly 300 incidents in a 24-hour period. That included 45 traffic crashes with injuries and 17 fires.

“Memphis, Tennessee, Paducah, Kentucky, and Louisville, Kentucky, are under ice storm warnings. There will be enough ice and strong wind gusts to break tree branches and knock out power,” stated weather.com.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a disaster declaration for the entire state Feb. 1 before the storm hit and deployed 1,800 trucks to plow and treat roads throughout the state. He also activated 130 Illinois National Guard members to help any motorists who might end up stranded in the whiteout conditions.

In Memphis, there were 225 downed trees on city streets and crews were working 16-hour shifts to clear them, said Robert Knecht, Memphis’ public works director, according to AP.

“It’s going to take multiple days, given the inclement weather conditions, to clear the public right of way,” he said. At presstime, many schools and businesses remained closed in areas hit by the frigid weather because roads remained icy and temperatures hadn’t risen above freezing.

For more information on emergency winter preparedness, visit: www.almanac.com and enter search for, “Winter Car Emergency Kit.”

 —Shawntell Muhammad, Contributing Writer, [email protected]