At least 27 people have died in Erie County, New York as a result A big winter storm It has ripped through much of the United States in recent days, district officials said Monday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 49.
The death toll in Erie County, which includes the city of Buffalo, was updated a month after parts of western New York were buried by 43 inches of snow, leaving thousands without power over the Christmas holiday. The The region was attacked A historic blizzard.
“It’s a terrible situation,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said at a news conference, adding that officials expect another 8 to 12 inches of snow between Monday morning and 1 a.m. Tuesday. “We are trying to recover and remove from the streets and get to areas that are not yet there and it is not effective,” he said.
Polancars He tweeted Monday afternoon: “Very sadly, the (county health department) medical examiner has confirmed 2 more deaths from the blizzard. The total number of deaths is now 27. Of these: 3 were due to EMS delays; 14 were found outside; 3 people shoveling/pumping heart events; 4 no heat; & 3 people were in a vehicle.
While bans on driving have been lifted in some communities, such an order remains in place in Buffalo, Polancarz said, describing it as “impassable in most areas,” with abandoned vehicles scattered everywhere. Regardless, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia urged residents to stay home, telling CNN to keep roads clear for emergency crews.
As rescue crews and hundreds of snowplow drivers fanned out on Christmas Day, even emergency and rescue vehicles sent to help got stuck in the snow. Officials said 11 abandoned ambulances were dug up on Sunday.
See houses frozen by a massive winter storm
– Source: CNN
“We had to send in special rescue teams to bring in rescuers,” Polancards said on “CNN This Morning” Monday, adding that it was the worst storm he could remember. “It was so horrible, it was 24 hours straight.”
“We’re used to snow here and we can handle snow,” he said. “But the wind, the blinding views – it was pitch black – and the bitter cold, it was some of the worst conditions any of us had ever seen.”
The storm has drawn widespread comparisons to Buffalo’s famous blizzard of 1977. Pollencarz said at a press conference Monday that the current storm’s “intensity … is worse than the blizzard of ’77.” The storm killed 23 people, 22 of whom died in Erie County.
At a news conference Sunday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the storm “the most destructive storm in Buffalo’s long history.” On Monday, he asked President Joe Biden to issue federal emergency declarations for Erie and Genesee counties.
“Talked to @GovKathyHochul to get an update on severe winter weather hitting New York” Biden tweeted. “We are committed to making sure they have the resources they need to get through this. My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones this holiday weekend. You are in my and Jill’s prayers.
Hundreds of National Guard troops are involved in rescue operations in New York. State police were involved in more than 500 rescues by Sunday, including one that delivered a baby, Hochul said.
On Monday, Hochul reiterated his request that residents follow local traffic closures so officials could continue plowing and salting roads and removing what he said were “scores and scores of vehicles” that had been abandoned.
“It’s still a dangerous situation to be outside,” he told an afternoon news conference.
While abandoned vehicles pepper the snow-covered roads, conditions are dire inside homes.
Some residents stayed in their homes for more than two days, some without power in the freezing cold, Hochul said Sunday — not because of a lack of resources, but because of the challenges utility companies face in terms of mobility and access. However, as of Sunday evening, 94.5% of Erie County residents and 87% of Buffalo residents had their power restored, Hochul said.
As of Monday, fewer than 10,000 customers were without power, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at an afternoon news conference, with temperatures in his own home dropping to 40 degrees. “We certainly understand the challenges many families face and the frustration people face.”
According to the National Weather Service, Buffalo will continue to see snow and bitterly cold temperatures Monday, with daytime highs of 23 degrees and nighttime lows of 21 degrees.
Winter Storm Warnings Jefferson and Lewis counties in New York are in effect until 1 p.m. Tuesday. Forecasts show an additional 8 to 16 inches of snow could fall, according to the National Weather Service. Erie County could see another 4 to 8 inches and one under Winter Weather Advisory.
In pictures: Winter storm hits US
Over the past week, a lingering winter storm has blanketed a large swath of the country with dangerously low temperatures and wind chills, and brought widespread power outages and thousands of canceled flights.
Nationwide, about 75,000 customers were without power Monday afternoon, the majority in Washington state. PowerOutage.US. Since the storm began, the number of outages has exceeded one million at times.
Power wasn’t the only one affected: Jackson, Mississippi, issued a boil water notice Sunday after its water system lost pressure due to “likely weather-related” line breaks. Officials said on Facebook. City – a solo hit two months ago Prolonged water crisis – Water was distributed to residents throughout Christmas Day.
The storm also added to travel in the U.S. during the busy holiday weekend 5,000 flights Friday was cancelled, more than 3,400 flights were canceled on Saturday and more than 3,100 were canceled on Christmas Day.
About 3,700 Airplanes According to the monitoring site, flights in or out of US airports are canceled until 4pm on Monday FlightAware. The total includes more than 2,500 flights canceled by Southwest Airlines, according to FlightAware.
Southwest said in a statement: “Due to continued severe winter weather across our network, the ongoing challenges are significantly impacting our customers and staff, which is unacceptable.
“Our heartfelt apologies for this are just beginning.”
Another 6,200 US flights are delayed, according to FlightAware.
Separately, Buffalo Niagara International Airport, which was closed Friday due to “dangerous weather” and saw 43 inches of snow, is expected to remain closed until Wednesday morning, according to the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority. He said on Twitter. The shutdown means the Buffalo Sabres’ NHL game in Columbus will be postponed because the team can’t fly to Ohio, Sabers officials said. said.
After the arrival of the brutal weather, several states reported several storm-related deaths. In addition to deaths in New York, deaths include:
• Colorado: Police in Colorado Springs reported two cold-related deaths since Thursday, with one man seeking warmth near a building’s transformer and another camping in an alley.
• KansasThree people have died in weather-related traffic accidents, the Highway Patrol said Friday.
• Kentucky: Three people have died in the state, officials said, including one in a vehicle crash in Montgomery County.
• Missouri: Kansas City police say one person has died after a caravan slid off a snowy road into a frozen creek.
• Ohio: Nine people died as a result of weather-related auto crashes, including four in a Saturday morning crash on Interstate 75 in which a tractor-trailer crossed the median and collided with an SUV and a pickup, authorities said.
• Tennessee: The Health Department confirmed a storm-related death on Friday.
• Wisconsin: The State Patrol reported a fatal crash Thursday due to wintry weather.
• Vermont: A Castleton woman has died after a tree fell on her home, the police chief said.
The powerful system is moving in from the northeast, and many towns and cities are still covered in thick snow. In separate 24-hour spans, Baraka, Michigan recorded 42.8 inches of snow and Port Henderson, New York, 40.8 inches.
Meanwhile, lake-effect snow will continue to create hazardous travel conditions for the next two days, and conditions are expected to slowly improve during the week.
Persistent lake-effect snow blowing downwind from the Great Lakes will slowly intensify, but arctic winds enveloping much of the eastern half of the country will slowly moderate. National Weather Service.
A low pressure system is forecast to move farther into Canada, while another system quickly moves across the northern U.S. into Monday, bringing snow from the Northern Plains through the Midwest.
Forecasters said most of the eastern part of the country will remain in deep freeze until Monday before easing on Tuesday.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct where Gov. Kathy Hochul described the storm as “the most destructive storm in Buffalo’s long history.” This was at a press conference on Sunday.