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Buffalo digs out of the snow as New York’s winter storm death toll rises to 27



CNN

Days after a deadly winter storm that plagued much of the country, officials in Buffalo, New York, are working to restore power, clear snow from roads, check homes and cars, and many more residents are on the move. expected to die.

At least 27 people have died as a result of a storm in Erie County, New York, that engulfed Buffalo in up to 50.3 inches of snow and swept into severe blizzard conditions that blinded Christmas weekend drives. At least 22 people in nine states in the US are reported to have died in the storm.

The Arctic explosion also disrupted holiday travel, with more than 2,900 flights in and out of the United States canceled on Tuesday, according to tracking site Flightaware. Of those, about 2,500 are operated by Southwest Airlines, whose pilots union chief blamed storms for canceled flights and outdated IT infrastructure for scheduling software on Tuesday. .

Meanwhile, Buffalo, New York’s second most populous city, will be subject to a winter weather advisory through Tuesday afternoon.

The storm already hitting Buffalo is considered more violent than the 1977 blizzard that killed 23 people. The weather over the weekend was “horrible,” said Erie County executive Mark Polonkers. “And it was horrible 24 hours straight.”

In fact, blizzard conditions were recorded for 37.5 hours, said CNN meteorologist Tom Sater, who said, “That doesn’t happen.”

Even emergency and recovery vehicles were buried in snow at some point, making Buffalo “impassable in most areas,” Polonkers said Monday.

“Rescuers rescued rescuers,” Buffalo Deputy Mayor Crystal Rodriguez Dabney said Tuesday on “CNN This Morning,” adding that those issues have been resolved. But for a while, it was a “priority,” she said. “I had to help the rescue team first so they could go help the public,” she said.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said conditions improved on Monday, making it easier for rescuers to reach where hundreds of people were stranded. “In some of these situations, without the efforts of first responders to rescue them from the vehicle, some of these people may not have survived,” he said.

Hundreds of vehicles were left in the snow in Buffalo, according to New York State Police Deputy Superintendent Steven Nigleri. Authorities were going door to door, car to car, checking on people, he said.

As crews continue to dig up vehicles buried in snow-covered roads and highways, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has stressed the importance of adhering to local and state driving bans in western New York. emphasized. Buffalo, Lackawanna and Cheektowaga remained banned from driving overnight.

“There are dozens of abandoned cars when people left during the storm,” Hochul said at a news conference on Monday. “It’s still a dangerous situation to go out.”

Three deaths reported in Erie County were due to EMS delays, others involved people outdoors or in cars, unheated people, or people who had cardiac arrest.

And the death toll is expected to rise, officials said.

Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said Monday that law enforcement plans to prioritize welfare checks once the roads have been cleared.

“I have a bad feeling about it. , nurses, hospitals, and… dialysis.”

As of Monday, fewer than 10,000 customers in Buffalo are without power, Brown said. But with utility crews facing dangerous weather conditions, putting the lights back on was no easy task.

The substation was covered with snow and even froze as the storm kept people indoors. That is, many residents had no heating. “I know some people have had no power in their homes since Friday,” the Buffalo mayor said, adding that his own home had no power and the temperature in the house had dropped to 40 degrees, causing families to pile up. He added that he was forced to wear it.

Main Street in Buffalo moves people and vehicles on Mondays.

Western New York supermarkets will begin reopening on Monday, with others expected to reopen on Tuesday.

The state is stockpiling ready-to-eat meals and thousands will be distributed to food banks, but road conditions have paralyzed aid efforts, Ho-chol said Monday.

“We have a responsibility to have all these resources on hand. , the trucks and shops that carry groceries to the stores are closed,” said Ho-Chol. “That’s the paralysis we’re experiencing.”

President Joe Biden approved New York’s state of emergency on Monday, freeing up federal resources to support disaster relief efforts in Erie and Genesee counties. Such declarations are “essential to support recovery efforts from this historic storm,” said Hochul.

According to the National Weather Service, Buffalo had its snowiest winter start ever with 92.7 inches of snowfall from October through Christmas. The storm came just a month after the region was hit by a historic snowstorm.

And the city has already reached 100 inches for the season, thanks to another 7.3 inches of snow that fell on Monday. This is a faster pace than any previous years dating back to his 1880s when record keeping began. Half of the season’s record pace of snowfall has occurred since Friday.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport, which was closed Friday due to “dangerous weather conditions” and received 43 inches of snow, is expected to remain closed until late Wednesday morning. Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority said on Twitter. Pittsburgh International Airport was sending snowplows to help Buffalo Airport reopen, a news release said Monday.

Cities and towns across the country remain covered in thick snow. Baraga, Michigan had 42.8 inches of snow, and Henderson Harbor, NY had 40.8 inches of snow.

People and cars cross Buffalo's main street Monday after a massive snowstorm blankets the city.

At least 49 storm-related deaths have been reported in multiple states.

New York: In addition to the 27 deaths in Erie County, one fatal carbon monoxide poisoning has been reported in Niagara County.

Colorado: Police in Colorado Springs have reported two cold-related deaths since Thursday. One may have been seeking warmth near the building’s transformer, while the other was found in an alleyway camp.

Kansas: Three people have died in weather-related traffic accidents, the Highway Patrol said Friday.

kentucky: Authorities say three people have died, including in a car accident in Montgomery County.

Missouri: One person died after a van slid off an icy road and into an icy creek, Kansas City Police said.

Ohio: Nine people died as a result of weather-related car accidents. Those include an accident Saturday morning on Interstate 75 in which his four tractors and trailer crossed the median and collided with an SUV and a pickup truck, officials said. Stated.

Tennessee: The Ministry of Health on Friday confirmed one fatality linked to the storm.

Wisconsin: The State Patrol on Thursday reported one fatality due to winter weather.

Vermont: A Castleton woman has died after a tree fell on her home, the police chief said.

Fix: An earlier version of this story incorrectly timed snow cover in Baraga, Michigan and Henderson Harbor, New York. In Baraga he had 42.8 inches and in Henderson Harbor three days he had 40.8 inches of snow.