'Blizzard of the Century' kills nearly 50 in US
New York State has received a significant amount of snow over the past few days.
The severe winter storm hitting the United States for several days has caused the death of at least 49 people in the country, including 27 in a single county in New York State, and this “blizzard of the century is far from over, authorities warned Monday.
This is clearly the blizzard of the century, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said during a from a press conference from the city of Buffalo, where she was born.
Even if the intensity of the storm is no longer that of the past few days, it is still dangerous to be outside, she warned.
Western New York, accustomed to cold and storms, was buried over the Christmas weekend under meters of snow, experiencing frigid temperatures since last week.
The death toll in Erie County, which includes Buffalo, was already 13 as of Sunday evening, but local services have since confirmed the deaths of 14 more people, bringing the total death toll from the blizzard to 27. county official Mark Poloncarz said Monday.
Some people were found dead in their cars or outside, and others died of cardiac arrest in trying to clear snow, while temperatures are still freezing, he said.
He said he expects more victims to be found over time.
The total number of deaths confirmed by authorities across nine US states is at least 49 dead. In Ohio, bad weather-related road accidents claimed nine lives, the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed to AFP.
My heart is with those who have lost loved ones, US President Joe Biden tweeted on Monday, indicating that he spoke on the phone with the governor, and pledging to provide the necessary federal resources.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said Monday that in some cities in the west of the state the snow cover had reached up to one meter thick during at night.
Later Monday, she spoke with President Biden, who offered the full force of the federal government to support New York State .
He said together with First Lady Jill Biden they were praying for those who lost loved ones in the storm, according to a statement from the White House.
According the same source, Joe Biden also endorsed the declaration of a state of emergency in New York State.
Buffalo streets were still largely blocked Monday due to massive amounts of snow on the ground. Images of downtown showed cars across the road, covered in snow.
The Christmas storm particularly affected the Buffalo area, not far from the Canadian border.
Please, unless you are part of the emergency services, don't drive, asked Mr. Poloncarz. The conditions are bad.
A travel ban was still in effect Monday in the western county, but it was being defied by some residents, he said.
What we're doing today is getting people to doctors, nurses and hospitals, county sheriff John Garcia said Monday morning on CNN. The roads are finally starting to be passable because the winds have died down.
During the height of the storm, rescuers were unable to reach people in distress, such as those stranded in their cars or at home without power.
It's heartbreaking to have calls from families with children, who say they are frozen, said Mr. Garcia.
Despite the perilous conditions, Buffalo police have rescued hundreds of people, said the city's mayor, Byron Brown.
Electricity has been restored to more than 13,000 homes in the past 24 hours, Mark Poloncarz said Monday morning, but more than 12,000 are still without power. Some will not be able to be connected to the network before Tuesday, he warned.
Since Wednesday evening, the United States has been hit by this storm of rare intensity, whose icy winds caused heavy snowfall, especially in the Great Lakes region.
Tens of millions of Americans saw their Christmas weekend turned upside down by power outages, impassable roads and thousands of canceled flights, causing chaos at airports.
On Monday, the number of canceled flights in the United States rose to around 3,800 from a previously reported 3,500, according to tracking site Flightaware.com.
Conditions are expected to continue. #x27;gradually improving as the week progresses.
The weather will continue to cause dangerous travel conditions locally for the next two days, said in its latest national bulletin the U.S. Weather Service (NWS).
Most of the eastern United States will remain freezing conditions through the day Monday, before a more moderate trend continues. #x27;installing from Tuesday, he added.
Storm: Power returns, travelers at home and abroad impas hold