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Blizzard In Buffalo, New York, Area Kills 13 People

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Blizzard In Buffalo, New York, Area Kills 13 People

(CTN NEWS) – Lethal blizzard crippled Buffalo, New York, on Christmas Day, trapping motorists and rescue workers in their vehicles, leaving thousands of houses without power, and upping the death toll from storms that have chilled most of the U.S.

At least 30 people have died in U.S. weather-related accidents since a harsh frost overtook most of the nation, combined with snow, ice, and howling winds on Friday.

CNN lists 26 weather-related deaths.

Much of the death has occurred in and around Buffalo, New York, on the edge of Lake Erie, where numbing cold and heavy “lake-effect” snow lasted into the holiday weekend.

Blizzard In Buffalo, New York, Area Kills 13 People

Ice forms by the spray of Lake Erie waves during a winter storm in Silver Creek, New York, U.S., December 24, 2022. REUTERS/Lindsey DeDario

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said 13 storm-related deaths had been confirmed, up from three overnight in Buffalo. Poloncarz said the latest deaths were found in cars and snow banks, and the death toll could grow.

Poloncarz tweeted Sunday, “This is not the Christmas any of us hoped for.” Condolences to bereaved families.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul termed it a “epic, once-in-a-lifetime” weather calamity, the worst winter storm to hit Buffalo since a 1977 blizzard that killed nearly 30 people.

Hochul said the present storm will certainly be remembered as “the blizzard of ’22”

Blizzard In Buffalo, New York, Area Kills 13 People

A man stands outside of his tent during a period of cold weather in Denver, Colorado, U.S. December 22, 2022. REUTERS/Alyson McClaran/File Photo

RESCUE RESCUERS

Six weeks ago, a record-setting lake-effect storm hit western New York.

Despite a prohibition on road travel since Friday, hundreds of Erie County motorists were stuck over the weekend, with National Guard troops called in to help with rescues.

Many snow ploughs and other equipment sent Saturday and Sunday were stranded, so “we had to rescue the rescuers,” he said.

Buffalo police asked individuals “with a snowmobile and eager to help” to phone a hotline for instructions.

Even for a winter-hardy location, the storm was severe.

Blizzard In Buffalo, New York, Area Kills 13 People

A woman walks her dog in a local park in Hoboken, New Jersey, while storm clouds pass by the One World Trade Center in New York, U.S., December 23, 2022. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Christina Klaffka, 39, of North Buffalo, observed her neighbor’s shingles blow off in “hurricane-like winds.” Her neighbourhood lost power Saturday night and was still without it Sunday morning.

Storm clouds pass by One World Trade Center in New York as a woman walks her dog in Hoboken, New Jersey.

“My TV kept flickering during the Bills-Bears game. After the third quarter, I lost power “saying,

John Burns, 58, a retiree in North Buffalo, said the storm and intense cold imprisoned him and his family for 36 hours.

Blizzard In Buffalo, New York, Area Kills 13 People

Hoak’s restaurant is covered in ice from the spray of Lake Erie waves during a winter storm that hit the Buffalo region in Hamburg, New York, U.S. December 24, 2022. Kevin Hoak/ via REUTERS

“Nobody outside. Nobody walked dogs “saying Two days passed without incident.

Snowfall totals were hard to estimate, he said, because fierce winds prevented accumulation between houses but piled up a 5-foot (1.5-meter) drift “in front of my garage.”

Hochul told reporters Sunday that the Biden administration will back her disaster declaration request.

Hochul said 200 National Guard members were sent to western New York to help police and fire crews, conduct health checks, and supply shelters.

Blizzard In Buffalo, New York, Area Kills 13 People

Lyla Kelly plays with her dog Maggie in the snow during a winter storm that hit the Buffalo region in East Amherst, New York, U.S. December 24, 2022. Sara Kelly/ via REUTERS

ELECTRICITY STRUCK

The larger storm system was moving east on Sunday after knocking out power to 1.5 million consumers late last week and triggering thousands of flight cancellations during holiday travel.

PowerOutage.us reported 150,000 U.S. households and businesses without power on Sunday, down from 1.8 million early Saturday. Poloncarz said 15,000 Buffalo residents lacked power Sunday night.

One substation was walled off by an 18-foot-tall snow pile, and utility technicians found it frozen inside.

“Christmas Day temperatures, while rebounding from near-zero readings on Saturday, remained far below average over the central and eastern U.S. and below freezing as far south as the Gulf Coast,” a NWS meteorologist said.

Blizzard In Buffalo, New York, Area Kills 13 People

Snow plows clear the roads following a winter storm that hit the Buffalo region in Lancaster, New York, U.S., December 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

White-out conditions lingered south of Buffalo into the afternoon as squalls dumped 2-3 inches of snow an hour.

In Kentucky, three storm-related deaths were verified since Friday, while a 50-vehicle pileup shut down the Ohio Turnpike during a blizzard on Friday.

News sources say excessive cold or weather caused vehicle accidents in Missouri, Tennessee, Kansas, and Colorado.

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