As massive winter storms continue to sweep large parts of the United States in severe winter weather, causing at least 37 deaths nationwide, parts of western New York are buried in up to 43 inches of snow, crushing vehicles. has been stranded, leaving thousands without power. Christmas weekend.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul told CNN that the storm was “the most devastating storm in Buffalo’s long history.” Heavy snow and blizzard conditions have left roads impassable with zero visibility, frozen substations and killed at least 17 people statewide. Dead as of Sunday night.
Western New York is drowning in thick “lake effect” snow just one month after the region was hit by a historic snowstorm.
Even emergency and recovery vehicles sent to rescue were stuck in the snow as rescue teams and hundreds of plow drivers stoked on Christmas Day. officials said.
Erie County Executive Mark Polonkers said at a press conference on Sunday that “rescuers were rescuing rescuers…it was terrifying.” Many of New York’s weather-related deaths are in Erie County, where they were found dead in cars and on the streets in snowdrifts.
The deaths reported in Buffalo “are those found outdoors or in vehicles,” a Buffalo Police statement said.
Hundreds of National Guard units were deployed to assist rescue efforts in New York. The governor said state police had been involved in more than 500 rescues by Sunday, including giving birth to a baby and helping a man with 4% left on a mechanical heart.
“We are still suffering from this very dangerous and life-threatening situation,” Ho-chul said. A driving ban is in effect in Erie County through Monday, urging residents to stay off the road.
“Our state and county plows have been non-stop, giving up time and risking themselves, driving through blinding snowstorms to clear the roads,” said Hochul.
Poloncarz said about 500 drivers found themselves stranded in their cars between Friday night and Saturday morning as a blizzard swept through the area.
“Think of staring at a white sheet a few feet in front of you for 24+ hours straight. “There was a constant blizzard and whiteouts, so no one knew where they were going. No one knew what was going on.”
Abandoned vehicles litter the snow-covered roads, hundreds of cars are still on the streets of Buffalo, but conditions are tough inside the homes as well.
Some residents have remained in their homes for the past 56 hours, some without electricity in the freezing cold, Ho-chol said at a news conference.This is not due to lack of resources, but rather Mobility and access challenges facing utility companies.
As of Sunday evening, 94.5 percent of Erie County residents and 87 percent of Buffalo residents had power restored, Hochul said.
Still, 12,000 homes and businesses in Erie County lost power Sunday night, and many of them won’t have lights or heat restored until Tuesday, Poloncarz said.
According to the National Weather Service, snowfall and frigid temperatures are expected to continue in Buffalo, with daytime highs of 23 degrees Celsius and nighttime lows of 18 degrees Celsius.
In Pictures: Winter Storms Affect US
Over the past week, lingering winter storms have engulfed large swaths of the United States in dangerously low temperatures and wind chills, resulting in widespread power outages and the cancellation of thousands of flights.
More than 10 million people received a freeze warning in the south on Monday, including residents of Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham.
Sub-zero temperatures are expected across the affected areas, with temperatures in the 10s to low 20s that could kill crops and damage plumbing. Most of these alerts are set to expire Monday morning, when temperatures are finally starting to recover from the polar air.
More than 98,000 customers nationwide were still without power on Christmas night, according to PowerOutage.US. Since the storm began, the number of service outages has sometimes exceeded one million customers.
The storm also disrupted travel during the busy holiday weekend, with more than 5,000 flights canceled on Friday, more than 3,400 flights canceled on Saturday, and more than 2,800 canceled at Christmas.
Several states have reported multiple storm-related deaths as the brutal weather continues. In addition to the deaths in New York, the fatalities are:
• colorado: Police in Colorado Springs, Colorado, have reported two cold-related deaths since Thursday.
• Kansas: Three people died in weather-related traffic accidents, the Kansas Highway Patrol said Friday.
• kentucky: Three people have died in the state, including a car crash in Montgomery County, officials say.
• Missouri: One person died when a caravan slid off an icy road and fell into an icy creek, Kansas City Police said.
• Ohio: Nine people died as a result of weather-related car accidents. Four of them were involved in Saturday morning’s crash on Interstate 75 when a semi-tractor with his trailer crossed the median and collided with an SUV and a pickup, officials said.
• Tennessee: The Tennessee Department of Health confirmed one death related to the storm on Friday.
• Wisconsin: On Thursday, the Wisconsin State Patrol reported one fatality due to winter weather.
Blizzards and a powerful system that brought winter weather warnings continue to pull away from the Northeast, but many cities and towns remain covered in a thick layer of snow.Baraga, Michigan has 42.8 inches of snow in 24 hours. Yes, there was 34.2 inches of snow in Watertown, NY.
According to the US National Weather Service, Grand Rapids, Michigan received a record 10.5 inches of snow on Christmas Eve.
Winter storm warnings remain in effect for New York’s Buffalo, Jamestown and Watertown, and will expire in the next few days. Forecasts could see 8 inches more in Jamestown, 14 inches more in Buffalo and 3 feet more in Watertown. Winds can reach speeds of up to 40 mph.
The Lake Effect snow warning remains north of Jamestown until 10 a.m. ET Tuesday. Available up to 18 inches.
The lingering lake-effect snow blowing downwind from the Great Lakes will slowly weaken, while the Arctic air covering most of the eastern half of the country will soften to slow to moderate, according to the National Weather Service.
Lake-influenced snow will continue to create hazardous travel conditions over the next few days, and conditions are expected to improve slowly over the week.
A low pressure system is projected to move away from Canada, but another system will move rapidly across the northern United States on Monday, bringing snow from the northern plains to the Midwest.
Meteorologists said much of the rest of the east is still in deep freeze until Monday before a easing trend begins on Tuesday.
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