Outages Persist as Wild Weather Hits Coast to Coast

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Extreme weather has been hammering the nation from coast to coast. From flooding in the West to brutal snow and ice in the East, many Americans have been dealing with power outages and dangerous conditions.

In the West, intense rain and surging water have uprooted trees and sent them crashing onto cars in northern California.

Utility poles also came down, taking power lines with them.

"Heavy rains -- we have measured about 12 inches of rain so far," Fort Ross, Calif., Fire Volunteer Department Chief Steve Ginesi said.

But the massive rainfall in California has still not been enough to make much of a dent in the state's severe drought.

"We need a really, really wet rest of the season. And that's statistically unlikely," Dr. Peter Gleick, co-director of the water-focused research nonprofit the Pacific Institute, told Mother Jones.

It's still a wintry mess from the Pacific Northwest to Utah, with floods, mudslides, and avalanches plaguing the region.

Meanwhile, millions of residents from Kansas to Georgia are bracing for another round of winter's wrath.

"I just hope we don't get into the same mess as we did last time," one Atlanta resident said.

The mayor of Atlanta is taking no chances after a disastrous reaction the last time around. Two weeks ago, the city ground to a screeching halt over just a few inches of snow.

It left hundreds of drivers stranded on highways, and children were forced to take shelter in their schools overnight. Now the city is treating key roads and bridges ahead of the storm's arrival.

"It's just a bad winter. Everybody's tired of it," business owner Mike LeClair said.

Even as another storm approaches, thousands of people from Maryland to Philadelphia are still without power after an ice storm knocked out their electricity last Wednesday. On Sunday, they got hit with several more inches of snow.

"This has been the longest. This is outrageous," Philadelphia resident Frank Demeo said.

That same snow storm led to a terrible bus crash in southwestern Pennsylvania Sunday, sending more than 20 passengers to the hospital.

To the north, extreme cold has frozen the Great Lakes, causing the largest ice coverage since 1996. The unrelenting weather has many Americans praying for relief.

"Jesus, make it warm," one 4-year-old prayed.

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.