At least 25 people have died in Erie County, New York as a result A big winter storm It has swept across much of the United States in recent days, district officials said Monday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 47.
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.
While bans on driving have been lifted in some communities, one such ban remains in Buffalo, Polancarz said, describing it as “impassable in most areas,” with abandoned cars, trucks and vehicles scattered everywhere. “It takes time to destroy them,” he said.
Rescue crews and hundreds of snowplow drivers were out on Christmas Day, even emergency and rescue vehicles sent to help were stuck in the snow. Officials said 11 abandoned ambulances were dug up on Sunday.
“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.
“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.”
Many of New York’s weather-related deaths were in Erie County Some died from exposure or cardiac events while snowing or blowing snow, Pollancarz said at a news conference, citing findings from the county medical examiner’s office.
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 current storm “the most destructive storm in Buffalo’s long storied history.”
Hundreds of National Guard troops are involved in rescue operations in New York. State police had performed more than 500 rescues by Sunday, including delivering a baby and helping a man with 4% left on a mechanical heart, Hochul said.
“We’re still in this very dangerous life-threatening situation,” Hochul said. Residents are urged to stay off the roads. “Our state and county plows are relentless, giving up time and putting themselves at risk, clearing roads through blinding blizzards,” Hochul said.
As blistering blizzard conditions swept the region, Boloncarz described terrifying conditions on the road.
“Imagine looking at a white sheet of paper a few feet in front of you for more than 24 hours straight. It was like that outside in bad conditions,” he said. “It was a continuous blizzard and whiteout and no one could see where they were going. No one knew what was going on.”
Abandoned vehicles line snow-covered roads — hundreds of cars still line Buffalo streets — and conditions inside homes are dire.
Some residents stayed in their homes for more than two days, some without power in the freezing temperatures, Hochul said during his news conference. The reason for this is not lack of resources, but rather a The mobility and accessibility challenge facing utility companies.
As of Sunday evening, 94.5% of Erie County residents and 87% of Buffalo residents had their power restored, Hochul said.
Still, 12,000 homes and businesses were without power in Erie County Sunday evening, and many more won’t have lights and heating until Tuesday, Polancarz said.
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.
In pictures: Winter storm hits US
Over the past week, a lingering winter storm has blanketed much of the United States with dangerously low temperatures and wind chills, and brought widespread power outages and thousands of canceled flights.
More than 10 million people were under blackout warnings throughout the south Monday, including residents of Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham.
Freezing temperatures are expected in affected areas, where temperatures will be in the twenties and low 20s, killing crops and damaging plumbing. Most of these warnings will expire Monday morning as temperatures finally begin to recover from the polar winds.
Nationwide, about 65,000 customers were without power early Monday morning 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 More than 3,400 flights were canceled on Friday, with more than 3,100 canceled for Christmas Day. More than 1,500 flights According to the tracking site, before 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, flights into, in, or out of the U.S. have already been canceled. FlightAware.
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, Colorado, have 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 Kansas Highway Patrol said Friday.
• Kentucky: Three people have died in the state, officials said, including one in a vehicle crash in Montgomery County.
• Missouri: One person died after a caravan plunged off a snowy road into a frozen creek, Kansas City police said.
• Ohio: Nine people died as a result of weather-related auto crashes, including four on Interstate 75 Saturday morning when a semi-tractor-trailer crossed the median and collided with an SUV and a pickup, officials said.
• Tennessee: The Tennessee Department of Health confirmed a storm-related death Friday.
• Wisconsin: The Wisconsin State Patrol reported a fatal crash Thursday due to wintry weather.
The powerful system is moving in from the northeast, and many towns and cities are still covered in thick snow. In a 24-hour period, Baraka, Michigan received 42.8 inches of snow and Watertown, New York received 34.2 inches.
Grand Rapids, Michigan received its snowiest Christmas Eve ever, with a record 10.5 inches. National Weather Service.
Winter storm warnings are in effect for Buffalo, Jamestown and Watertown in New York and will expire over the next two days. Jamestown could see another 8 inches of snow, Buffalo another 14 inches and Watertown another 3 feet, according to forecasts. Wind gusts up to 40 mph are possible.
Lake effect snow warnings remain in place until 10 a.m. EST Tuesday, north of Jamestown Up to 18 inches is possible.
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.
Lake-effect snow will create hazardous travel conditions for the next two days and conditions are expected to improve slowly during the week.
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.