The winter storm death toll in the Buffalo area has risen to 27, but officials fear it will continue to rise



CNN

A dozen Americans died A winter storm Extreme temperatures and snow have paralyzed much of the U.S., and officials in the Buffalo area expect the staggering toll to continue to rise as search and rescue teams continue to work.

The statewide death toll from the storm, which brought more than 40 inches of snow to some areas, rose to 49 on Monday, including 27 in New York’s Erie County.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “Unfortunately, they are still recovering bodies.”

Some died from exposure, and some deaths were due to natural causes, he said of the recent deaths.

The commissioner told the residents, “Stay at home. don’t go out”

Emergency responders will go to homes without heat and take people to warming shelters, he said. Many people, including residents who were out to witness the massive snowfall, got stuck in their vehicles and hampered rescue efforts, he said.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted that 14 people in the county had died of exposure, three were found in their vehicles, four had no heat, three died from “shovel/(snow) blowing cardiac events, and three died after EMS. Services were delayed.”

“Unfortunately the number will increase,” he told CNN.

“I know more bodies are being recovered and brought to our makeshift morgue,” he told The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. “We have so many bodies, so many different hospitals are full, and we have to go and determine if individuals died of blizzard-related deaths.”

“It’s a terrible, terrible situation,” he added.

The deadly storm comes a month later The region was attacked A historic blizzard.

And it continued to snow on Monday. At a morning news conference, Pollencarz noted that officials expect 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.

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.

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.” 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 extreme 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. By Sunday, state police had been involved in more than 500 rescues, including delivering a baby, Hochul said.

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.”

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.

About 25,700 customers were without power in New York and Maine Monday evening 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 Friday was cancelled, more than 3,400 flights were canceled on Saturday and more than 3,100 were canceled on Christmas Day.

About 3,800 Airplanes According to the monitoring site, flights into or out of US airports are canceled until 7pm 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 7,000 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 will also postpone the Buffalo Sabres’ NHL game in Columbus because the team will not be able to fly to Ohio, Sabers officials said. said.

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, 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.

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 separate 24-hour periods, Baraka, Michigan received 42.8 inches of snow and Port Henderson, New York received 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 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.

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