BUFFALO: Temperatures were expected to drop across the eastern and midwestern United States on Tuesday, after days of freezing weather from the “Blizzard of the Century” that left at least 50 dead and caused travel chaos in Christmas.
However, according to s BBC report, the death toll has risen to 62.
Simmering conditions persisted in parts of the northeastern US, stubborn remnants of a streak of extreme weather that has gripped the country for the past several days, causing widespread power outages, travel delays and deaths in nine states, according to official figures.
In New York state, authorities described dire conditions, particularly in Buffalo, with hours of whiteouts, bodies being found in vehicles and under snow banks, and emergency personnel going “from car to car” in the popular survivors.
The NY governor calls it the ‘Blizzard of the Century’
The perfect storm of ferocious snow squalls, howling winds and subzero temperatures has caused the cancellation of more than 15,000 US flights in the past few days, including nearly 4,000 on Monday, according to tracking site Flightaware.com.
Buffalo – a city in Erie County that is no stranger to brutal winter weather – is at the epicenter of the crisis, buried under massive amounts of snow.
“It’s definitely the blizzard of the century,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul told reporters, adding that it was “too early to say this is over.” Hochul said “some western New York towns had 30 to 40 inches (0.75 to meters) of snow overnight.” Later Monday, Hochul spoke with President Joe Biden, who offered “the full force of the federal government” to support New York state, and said he and First Lady Jill Biden were praying for those who lost loved ones in the storm, according to a statement from the White House.
Biden also approved an emergency declaration for the state, the White House said.
“Temperatures across the Midwest and East are expected to moderate in the coming days ahead of this system,” the National Weather Service said in its latest advisory early Tuesday, but warned that continued “locally hazardous travel conditions”.
Members of the National Guard and other teams have rescued hundreds of people from snow-covered cars and homes without power, but authorities say more people are still trapped.
Motorists were being warned not to hit the roads – even as the nation reached its busiest travel time of the year.
Published in Dawn, December 28, 2022