Winter storm death toll rises to 27 in Buffalo, NY, residents trapped under snow



CNN

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 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 With a historic blizzard.

“It’s a terrible situation,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said at a news conference, adding that officials expected another 8 to 12 inches of snow from Monday morning to 1 p.m. Tuesday. “It is not effective because we try to recover and remove from the streets and get to areas that are not there yet”, he said.

Polancars tweeted Monday afternoon: “Very sadly, the (county health department) medical examiner has confirmed 2 more deaths from the snowstorm. 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 driving bans have been lifted in some communities, such an order remains in place in Buffalo, Polancarz said, describing the city 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 personnel.

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

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– Source: CNN

“We had to send in special rescue teams to bring in rescuers,” Pollancarz said Monday on “CNN This Morning,” adding that it was the worst storm he could remember. “It was so terrible, it was terrible for 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.”

Snow blankets Buffalo, New York, in this Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, photo from New York Gov. Cathy Hochul's Twitter account.

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.” At a news conference Sunday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the storm “the most destructive storm in Buffalo’s long history.”

Hundreds of National Guard troops are involved in rescue operations in New York. By Sunday, state police had been involved in more than 500 rescues, including delivering a baby, Hochul said.

On Monday, Hochul reiterated his request for residents to follow local traffic closures so officials could continue plowing and salting roads and removing “scores and scores of vehicles,” he said.

“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 highs expected to reach 23 degrees during the day and 21 degrees at night.

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.

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 supply to residents throughout Christmas Day.

The storm also added to travel in the U.S. during the busy holiday weekend 5,000 flights More than 3,400 flights were canceled on Friday and more than 3,100 were canceled for Christmas Day.

About 5,400 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 acknowledged in a statement, “(The winter storm) is causing disruptions across our network as a result of the lingering effects on the aggregate of our operations.”

Separately, the Buffalo airport, which was closed Friday due to “dangerous weather” and saw 43 inches of snow, is expected to remain closed until Wednesday morning. Niagara Frontier Transit Authority He said on Twitter.

Snow blankets a neighborhood on December 25, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.

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, one possibly seeking warmth near a building’s transformer and another found 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, including one in a vehicle crash in Montgomery County, officials said.

Missouri: Kansas City police say one person has died after a caravan slid off a snowy road into a frozen creek.

Ohio: Nine people have 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, officials 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.

A man clears snow-covered roads with a backhoe loader in Buffalo, New York, U.S., on December 26, 2022.

The powerful system is moving in from the northeast, and many towns and cities are still covered in thick snow. In a separate 24-hour period, Baraka, Michigan recorded 42.8 inches of snow and Port Henderson, New York, 40.8 inches.

Meanwhile, lake-effect snow will create hazardous travel conditions for the next two days and conditions are expected to improve slowly during the week.

Persistent lake-effect snow blowing downwind from the Great Lakes will gradually 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.

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