The death toll from the Buffalo-area blizzard has risen to 27 in western New York and at least 48 nationwide, officials said Monday. Much of the rest of the United States was hit by ferocious winter conditions.
Dead bodies around Buffalo were found in cars, homes and snowmen. Some died while shoveling snow. The storm that hit much of the country is now believed to have killed dozens across the country, with rescue and recovery efforts continuing on Monday.
With many grocery stores in the area closed and driving prohibited, some people took to social media to ask for food and diaper donations.
The National Weather Service said Monday that up to 9 inches more snow could fall in some areas by Tuesday.
A blizzard hit western New York on Friday and Saturday, stranded drivers, lost power and prevented emergency workers from reaching residents in frigid homes and stranded cars.
Huge snowdrifts nearly covered cars on Monday, and thousands of homes went dark due to blackouts.
Larger storms are expected to claim more lives as they have trapped some residents inside their homes.
Extreme weather has spread from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico. About 60% of the US population faced some kind of winter weather advisory or warning, with temperatures well below normal from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachian Mountains.
As of noon EDT on Monday, about 2,085 domestic and international flights had been canceled, according to tracking site FlightAware. Southwest has 1,253 cancellations, according to the site, nearly a third of its scheduled flights and about five times more than any other major US airline. An email sent to Southwest was not immediately returned, and the Dallas-based airline had not updated its website about the situation since Saturday.
FlightAware data showed cancellations and delays at airports across the United States, including Denver, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle, Baltimore and Chicago.
However, there has been some easing this week, with temperatures projected to rise slowly, said Ashton Robinson Cook, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.
“Nothing like last week,” he said, adding that the bomb cyclone — a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure in a strong storm — had abated. Stirred up the state.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said nearly all fire trucks in Buffalo were stranded Saturday and pleaded with people to respect the ongoing driving ban in the area on Sunday.According to the National Weather Service and total snowfall at Buffalo Niagara International Airport was 49.2 inches (1.25 meters) as of 7 a.m. Sunday. Officials said the airport will be closed until Tuesday morning.
Buffalo police said there were two “isolated” cases of looting during the storm Sunday night.
Two people died Friday at their suburban home in Cheektowaga, New York. Because the paramedics weren’t there in time to treat their condition. Erie County Administrator Mark Polonkers said 10 people died during the storm, including six in Buffalo, and warned that more could be dead.
“Some were found in cars, others were found on the road in snowmen,” Polonkaerts said. “I know people who have been stuck in their cars for more than two days.”
Sub-zero conditions and power outages caused the Buffalonians to rush to get anywhere in the heat. Hochol calls it the city’s longest-lasting blizzard ever.
At a nearby house, Shahida Muhammad told WKBW she had a desperate weekend after her one-year-old son’s ventilator lost power. She and her child’s father managed her breathing manually from Friday through Sunday, when rescuers came to her aid after seeing her desperate social media posts.
Erie County officials went to the family’s home on Saturday but no one came to the door. She described him as a “fighter”.
The storm caused power outages in communities from Maine to Seattle. Mid-Atlantic power grid operators called on 65 million consumers to save energy amid Saturday’s freeze.
From six motorists killed in crashes in Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky, to a woman who fell under ice on the Wisconsin River, to a deadly homeless campfire in Kansas, the storm-related Deaths were reported nationwide.
In Jackson, Mississippi, on Christmas Day, city officials announced that residents will have to boil their drinking water after a water pipe burst in the extreme cold.
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