Winter storm kills seven in New York as Arctic system freezes eastern US
A blizzard ripped through New York, specifically Buffalo, on Christmas Day, trapping people in their vehicles, leaving families without power and raising the death toll from the severe winter storm system that has swept the country.
So far, 28 people have been reported dead due to the freezing weather that plagues the United States, according to NBC News.
Mark Poloncarz, Erie County executive, reported that the number of human losses was raised from three to eight by the storm overnight in Buffalo, where snow Sunday led to a total accumulation of nearly four feet.
Some of the dead people were found Sunday morning in their vehicles and some in snowbanks, Poloncarz said, adding that the death count could rise.
“This is not the Christmas any of us expected or expected, but try to have as merry a Christmas as possible today,” the Erie County executive said on his Twitter account. “My condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones.”
For her part, the Governor of the State of New York, Kathy Hochul, said at a press conference on Sunday that she had contacted the White House and that President Joe Biden’s government would support the request for a federal disaster declaration.
“This will go down in history as the most devastating storm in Buffalo. This one is for history and we are still in the middle of it,” Hochul said.
The strong winds are the result of a large winter system that has caused temperatures to drop precipitously ranging from the Northern Great Plains to the US-Mexico border.reported Reuters.
The storm moved east on Sunday after knocking out power to millions of people late last week, in turn causing flight cancellations over the Christmas holiday period.
16% of Buffalo residents were without power as of Sunday, authorities reported.
Two days of storms have left western New York in darkness making rescue efforts nearly impossible at times. A National Guard team sent from Niagara Falls to rescue the Buffalo area got stuck Friday trying to reach the Buffalo Armory team.
“We had to get them out … so they could get to the Buffalo Armory,” Hochul said on a conference call with reporters Sunday.
deadly road trip
In Erie County, hundreds of drivers were trapped in their cars this weekend, and the National Guard called in to help with the rescues, Poloncarz said.
The countywide driving ban remains in effect for this Sunday.
Secondly, the Buffalo airport had reported nearly four feet nine on Sunday morningreported the National Weather Service. Conditions continued south of Buffalo by noon Sunday, with snow falling at 2 to 3 inches per hour.
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