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Savage US blizzard leaves 31 dead, power outages, travel snarls

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NEW YORK: A brutal winter storm hits parts of the eastern United States yesterday (Dec. It has brought danger and misery to millions of Americans.

Vehicles travel on a freeway in Louisville, Kentucky, in freezing temperatures Friday (December 23). Photo: AFP

A critical situation was unfolding in Buffalo, New York State. A snowstorm left the city behind, preventing emergency services from reaching the hard-hit areas.

“It’s like going into a war zone, and the cars driving by the side of the road are shocking,” said Kathy Hochul, a Buffalo-born New York governor with 2.4 meters of snow and blackouts. created a life-threatening situation.

Ho-chul told reporters last night that residents were still suffering from “extremely dangerous and life-threatening conditions” and warned everyone in the area to stay indoors.

More than 200,000 people in several eastern states were awakened by power outages on Christmas morning, and many more had their vacation plans ruined.

Extreme weather pushed temperatures to below freezing in all 48 states of the continental United States over the weekend, causing vacationers to cancel thousands of flights and residents to be trapped in homes covered in ice and snow.

Thirty-one weather-related deaths have been confirmed in nine states, with four people in Colorado potentially dying from exposure and New York at least 12 dead, officials warned.

Officials described the historically dangerous conditions in the snowy Buffalo area. Hours of whiteout and corpses were found in vehicles and under banks of snow as paramedics struggled to find someone in need of rescue.

The city’s international airport remains closed until tomorrow, and a driving ban remains in place throughout Erie County, where the lakeside metropolis is located.

“It will be talked about like a 22-year blizzard, not just today, but for generations to come,” Ho-chol said, adding that the atrocities were measured in “intensity, longevity and persistence.” added that it surpassed the region’s previous landmark blizzard in 1977. The fury of the wind. ”

One of the frozen substations is buried under 18 feet of snow, a senior county official said, with some residents not expected to have power restored until tomorrow because the substations have frozen.

It’s just bad conditions.”

The US National Weather Service warned that blizzard conditions from lake-induced snow continued yesterday in western New York’s Great Lakes region, with “another 2-3 feet of snow to continue tonight.”

A couple in Buffalo, across the Canadian border, told AFP on Saturday they would be less than a 10-minute drive to see their family on Christmas because the roads were completely impassable. .

“It’s hard because the conditions are so bad.

The broader travel nightmare has completely affected millions of people.

The storm was one of the most severe in decades, according to tracking website Flightaware.com, canceling more than 2,400 U.S. flights yesterday, in addition to canceling about 3,500 flights on Saturday and about 6,000 on Friday. has been canceled.

Travelers remained stranded or delayed over Christmas at airports in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, New York, and elsewhere.

Frozen roads and whiteout conditions have temporarily closed some of the nation’s busiest transportation routes, including Interstate 70, which crosses the country.

Drivers had been warned not to take the roads – even as the country reached its busiest time of the year for travel.

Extreme weather has severely strained power grids, prompting millions of people to reduce their usage to minimize rolling blackouts in areas such as North Carolina and Tennessee. .

At some point Saturday, nearly 1.7 million customers lost power in the frigid weather, according to tracker poweroutage.us.

More than 70,000 customers in the Eastern Province were still without power, but that number had dropped significantly by Sunday evening.

In British Columbia, Canada, four people died and 53 were taken to hospital after a bus overturned on Saturday, believed to be caused by icy roads.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people were without power in Ontario and Quebec, many flights were canceled in major cities, and rail passenger service between Toronto and Ottawa was halted.

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