It is a freezing, festive season that many will never forget in the US and Canada where ice storms have left 500,000 households without electricity.
Despite the efforts of power companies, some in the northeastern United States are being warned they will not be reconnected before Saturday. Maine and Michigan are among the states hit hardest.
“It is very rough because it is Christmas and we were going to have a party for Christmas evening,” said Melissa Rose of Flint, Michigan. “We had to change our plans because we did not have our generator from downstairs up and gassed. We are trying to get kerosene for our kerosene heater, to stay warm…It is just very hard”
“It is terrible,” added fellow Flint resident Jackie Shoop. “I can’t believe it is so cold! You know, it seems like it just is not letting up at all”.
While many are correctly using generators to heat their homes, a number of deaths have been reported from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The ongoing big freeze, meanwhile, means that ice is not melting, raising the threat of yet more power cuts to come.