13 People Are Killed By Blizzard In The Buffalo Area

On Christmas Day, a deadly blizzard paralyzed Buffalo, New York, trapping drivers and rescuers in their cars, knocking out electricity to thousands of homes, and adding to the toll from storms that have been chilling much of the country for days.

According to an NBC News count, at least 30 people have perished in weather-related accidents across the United States since a deep chill swept much of the country on Friday, along with snow, ice, and strong winds from a massive storm that roared out of the Great Lakes region.

26 weather-related deaths in total have been recorded by CNN.

As biting cold and heavy “lake-effect” snow lingered into the holiday weekend, most of the fatalities were concentrated in and around Buffalo, which is located on the western tip of Lake Erie in western New York. This snow is caused by cold air passing over warmer lake waters.

According to Mark Poloncarz, the executive of Erie County, the number of storm-related fatalities rose to 13 on Sunday from the three that had been recorded overnight in the Buffalo area. According to Poloncarz, the latest victims included those discovered in cars and others in snow banks. He also predicted that there would likely be more fatalities.

Poloncarz stated on Twitter on Sunday that “none of us expected or hoped for this Christmas.” “I offer the families of those who have lost loved ones my sincere sympathies.”

The deadliest winter storm to hit the greater Buffalo area since a severe blizzard in 1977 that killed nearly 30 people, according to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, was described as an “epic, once-in-a-lifetime” weather calamity.

Hochul stated at a news conference that evening that “we have now surpassed the scale of the storm, in its severity, the endurance, and the fury of its winds,” adding that the current storm will certainly be remembered as “the blizzard of ’22.”

Nearly six weeks had passed since the last snowstorm, a record-breaking but brief lake-effect storm that hit western New York.

Hundreds of drivers in Erie County were left stranded in their cars over the weekend despite the travel prohibition that has been in effect since Friday, according to Poloncarz. The National Guard was called in to assist with rescue efforts but was hampered by white-out conditions and drifting snow.

He told reporters that numerous snow plows and other pieces of equipment that were sent out on Saturday and Sunday became buried in the snow and “we had to deploy rescue missions to rescue the rescuers.”

Those who “have a snowmobile and are willing to help” are asked to phone a hotline for instructions, according to a request for help made online by the Buffalo police department.

Even for a region used to severe winter weather, the storm’s ferocity was noteworthy.

Christina Klaffka, a 39-year-old resident of North Buffalo, heard “hurricane-like winds” rattling her windows as she witnessed her neighbor’s roof’s shingles fly off. On Saturday night, she and her entire neighborhood lost power, and on Sunday morning, they were still without it.

“I was trying to watch the Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears game, but my TV kept flickering. shortly after the third quarter, I lost power “She spoke.

North Buffalo retiree John Burns, 58, claimed that the storm and “mean and nasty” weather kept him and his family locked in their home for 36 hours.

“Nothing was open. Nobody even took their dogs for a walk “explained he. “For two days, nothing happened.”

He continued that it was difficult to estimate snowfall totals because of the strong gusts that prevented accumulation between houses but built up a 5-foot (1.5-meter) drift “in front of my garage.”

Hochul informed the media on Sunday that her request for a federal disaster declaration had been approved by the Biden administration.

According to Hochul, about 200 members of the National Guard were dispatched to western New York to assist emergency responders, conduct health inspections, and provide supplies to shelters.

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