‘Heartbreaking’: New York surveys damage after historic blizzard | Weather News

Emergency teams are ramping up snow removal and rescue operations following the so-called “blizzard of the century” covered western New York state, where local officials said the “heartbreaking” death toll was expected to rise.

Byron Brown, the mayor of Buffalo, said Tuesday that seven more hurricane-related deaths have been recorded, bringing the total number of deaths in New York’s second-largest city to 27.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family members,” Brown wrote on Twitter, adding that police expect the number to increase.

The fierce winter storm caused large swaths of the United States during the busy Christmas holiday weekend, sending temperatures below average as far south like the US border with Mexico and caused power outages for about 1.8 million people.

In Buffalo, which is on Lake Erie and the border with Canada, the blizzard brought chilling cold along with howling winds and dense “lake effect” snow, the result of moisture caused by cold air moving over warmer waters of the lake.

People were trapped in their vehicles and homes in the depths, blowing snow onto roads and doorways.

In broader Erie County, which includes Buffalo and is home to 950,000 people, county executive Mark Poloncarz described the storm as “the biggest blizzard we’ve ever seen.”

“The blizzard conditions are gone, of course, but we will respond in some way to this blizzard in a few days,” Poloncarz said in a press conference Tuesday. said at a news conference on Tuesday, urging people to stay in their homes. .

“Stay away from Buffalo; you are getting in the way of cleanup efforts,” he said. “I know you have to go to the grocery store. I understand that, but be careful when you go out there.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said this week that the storm created 2.4-meter (8-foot) layers of snow on either side of the house and buried snow shovels and other rescue vehicles along the sides. Street.

“This blizzard is one of those times,” she said on Monday. “Sure, it was the blizzard of the century.”

Al Jazeera reporter Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington, DC, said that while temperatures are expected to rise across the country this week, the death toll is also expected to rise as response forces emergency aid reach the severely affected areas.

A woman walks as a car passes through a snowy New York state road
A woman balances with a ski pole in the snow in Amherst, New York, on December 26, 2022 [Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

“For example, in Buffalo, most of the fire trucks are stuck because there are no white lights so they can’t really go out and check the vehicles and go door to door, and that’s where they find a lot of these cases. this death,” Culhane said.

“People in lost conditions are stuck in the snow, running out of gas and extreme cold can be fatal, and so across the country we expect the death toll to rise,” she said.

Many parts of the United States are still reeling from hurricanes. At least 63 hurricane-related deaths were reported nationwide as of Tuesday morning, according to a report. NBC News Statistics. Power outages have also hit communities from Maine to Washington state.

At the Rosebud Sioux Tribal reserve in South Dakota, there were plans to use snowmobiles on Tuesday to reach residents after food boxes were delivered by helicopter and truck over the weekend. , the tribe said.

flight is canceled

However, Western New York was the hardest hit, prompting US President Joe Biden to acceptance an emergency declaration on Monday to allow federal assistance to reach the state.

The weekend’s blizzard comes more than a month after the New York area was inundated with another historic snowfall. Between the two storms, the total amount of snowfall wasn’t far from the 242cm (95.4 inches) the region typically sees all winter.

The National Weather Service predicts that up to 2.5 to 5cm (2 inches) of snow could fall on Tuesday in Erie County.

A utility worker walks past a truck after a winter storm in NY
Utility workers hit the streets to restore basic services in the area around Buffalo, New York [Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

“Any additional snowfall that Buffalo may continue to have today will have a major impact,” said lead forecaster Bob Oravec. “The biggest impact will be how it interferes with the removal of previous snowfall.”

Meanwhile, nearly 2,900 US domestic and international flights were canceled on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern time (15:00 GMT), according to tracking website FlightAware.

US Department of Transportation said it has a plan to examine Southwest Airlines’ “unacceptable” mass cancellations and delays to determine if they are within the airline’s control.


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