Winter storm kills at least 22 in US
The Buffalo region, not far from the Canadian border, was particularly affected by the severe weather.
“It's not the Christmas we wanted” : A winter storm that carried icy winds and swept through the central and eastern United States for days killed more than 20 people and left tens of thousands of Americans without power on Christmas Day.
Erie County, New York, was particularly hard hit.
At least seven people died there due to the storm, county official Mark Poloncarz said at a press conference on Sunday morning. Some victims were found in cars and others on the street in the middle of the snow. It's horrible, it's a major disaster, he said.
Since Wednesday evening, the United States has been hit by this storm of rare intensity, whose polar winds have caused heavy snowfall, especially in the Great Lakes region.
US authorities have confirmed at least 22 extreme weather-related deaths in eight states. Some of these deaths occurred on the roads, which have become very dangerous due to icy conditions and poor visibility.
According to Mark Poloncarz, other deaths could be counted in Erie County, which includes the city of Buffalo, located on the border with Canada.
“There are people stuck in their cars for more than two days and others in homes with freezing temperatures. This is not the Christmas we wanted.
— Mark Poloncarz
12 to 24 inches of snow was still expected to fall overnight, according to the latest NWS report .
A travel ban was issued in this region on Friday, but hundreds of people were still stranded in their vehicles.
The Governor Kathy Hochul dispatched the National Guard to rescue them, the local emergency services being almost paralyzed.
US authorities have confirmed at least 22 severe weather-related deaths in eight states.
In addition, the Electricity will not be fully restored in the city of Buffalo until Monday, warned Mark Poloncarz, calling on residents not to leave their homes, the roads remaining impassable.
The winds are so strong that the snow is forming like sand dunes, it's crazy, Ali Lawson, 34, who has lived in Buffalo for eight years, told AFP on Saturday.
< p class="e-p">Last night, we couldn't see beyond our porch, and the snowplows can't even get out to clear the roads, she said.
In total, more than 200,000 homes were without power Sunday morning on the East Coast, according to the Poweroutage.us site, including in Maine and New York State.
On Friday, the wind felt the temperature to drop to -46°C in parts of South Dakota, according to the NWS, which however announced that temperatures should return to seasonal normals by the middle of next week.
Heavy winter precipitation and 40 degrees below average temperatures are expected throughout the Christmas weekend over much of the United States.
Air traffic s& #x27;is gradually improving with nearly 1,500 flights canceled on Sunday, up from more than 3,400 the previous day, according to tracking site Flightaware.com.
The most extreme disruptions are behind us, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Twitter on Saturday.
A bit everywhere in American cities, for example in Denver or Chicago, shelters have been opened to accommodate people in need to allow them to warm up and protect themselves from the risk of hypothermia.
Sub-zero temperatures have battered the city of Chicago for the past few days. Wind chill could drop to -40 degrees.
In El Paso, Texas, desperate migrants from Mexico huddled for warmth in churches, schools and a municipal centre, Rosa Falcon, a teacher and volunteer, told AFP.
However, some chose to stay outside in freezing temperatures because they feared attracting the attention of immigration authorities, she added.