A brutal winter storm, that brought Xmas chaos to millions of Americans, will be slow to dissipate, the US National Weather Service (NWS) said on Monday, after intense snow & frigid cold caused power outrages, travel delays and death toll is rising across the country. Much of the eastern US will remain in a deep freeze through Monday before a moderating trend sets in on Tuesday, the NWS said. At least 61 people have died as a result of the severe winter storm that engulfed most of the United States during Christmas, according to officials. The winter storm became a bomb cyclone when the air pressure dropped drastically around the christmas week hitting many US cities with extreme low temperatures.
In Buffalo, western New York, a blizzard left the city marooned, with emergency services unable to reach the worst – hit areas. “ It is like going to a war zone, and the vehicles along with the sides of the roads are shocking“, said New York governor Kathy Hochul a native Buffalo, where eight -foot ( 2.4 metre ) snow drifts & power outages made for life- threatening conditions.
Hochul told reporters on Sunday evening that residents were still in the throes of a “ very dangerous life -threatening situation.” More than 200,000 people across several eastern states woke up without power on Xmas & many more had their holiday travel plans upended. Although the five-day- long storm featuring blizzard conditions & ferocious winds showed signs of easing.
The extreme weather sent chill temperatures in all 48 contiguous US states below freezing over the weekend, stranded holiday travelers with thousands of flights canceled & trapped residents in ice and snow encrusted homes. Storm -related deaths were exported in recent days all over the country. 12 in Erie county, 26 to 93 years old, and another in Niagara county where a 27 year old man was overcome by carbon monoxide after snow blocked his furnace; 10 in Ohio, including an electrocuted utility worker & those killed in multiple car crashes; six motorists killed in crashes in Missouri, Kansas & Kentucky; a Vermont woman struck by a falling branch; an apparently homeless man found amid Colorado’s sub- zero temperatures; and a woman who fell though Wisconsin river ice.
39 fatalities have already been documented, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, in the area of western New York that took the brunt of the historic storm. The majority of the fatalities took place in Buffalo, a snow-covered metropolis, which is part of Erie County.
Poloncarz stated that 17 of the 39 dead were discovered outside, 11 were found inside of residences, four were found inside of vehicles, four died while shoveling or blowing snow, and three died because emergency personnel were unable to reach them in time.
The midwestern state of Ohio recorded nine fatalities from storm-related auto accidents, and there were more fatalities reported in at least half a dozen other states. Officials in New York had raised worries about floods due to rising temperatures and snowmelt, but the county executive stated “it does not appear like it will be bad.”
As Buffalo recovered from the once-in-a-generation storm, there was growing criticism of the authorities’ response, with Poloncarz labelling it “embarrassing.” For instance, a travel ban was not announced in Buffalo until 9:30 am on Friday, by which time many people were already their route to work.
Thousands of flights were delayed or cancelled due to the storm’s disruption at airports, which also brought unusually chilly temperatures to regions like Texas and Florida. Southwest Airlines said it anticipated operations to gradually return to normal on Friday after canceling more than 15,000 flights in eight days due to what it claimed was a malfunction in its scheduling systems.