Washington: A “once-in-a-lifetime” blizzard has killed at least 57 people in the United States by Monday morning and the massive winter storm is expected to claim more lives this week.
Earlier in the day, 34 deaths were reported as extreme cold, wind and snow continued through Christmas. The snowstorm has settled over an unprecedentedly wide area from the Great Lakes near the US-Canada border to the Rio Grande River along the US border with Mexico, media reports said.
At least 12 states, namely Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin reported a total of 50 deaths, NBC News said.
“A once-in-a-generation storm:” Buffalo Mayor
The city of Buffalo in northeastern New York state had the most casualties, with more than a meter of snow falling over the weekend. As of today, at least 14 people had died, the report said.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told NPR’s Morning Edition that his city’s emergency responders have gone “car by car” to perform hundreds of rescues of stranded motorists.
“This has been called a generational storm — a once-in-a-generation storm,” Brown said. “It’s unlike anything that even the city of Buffalo is used to getting.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the natural disaster “the most devastating storm in Buffalo’s long story history.”
According to Hochul, 15,000 people in and around the city remain without electricity, and repair work has been delayed until Tuesday.
President Joe Biden on Monday approved an emergency declaration for New York, which authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts in the affected area.
Numerous people died, suffered weather-related accidents
As a consequence of the Arctic blast and the winter storm, numerous people have died and suffered weather-related road accidents or the cold.
The storm has sent temperatures well below freezing across the US and has destroyed Christmas eve for many. As it pounded regions, the storm delivered hurricane-force winds and whiteout conditions.
All kinds of transportation – planes, trains, and vehicles – were disrupted due to the storm this holiday weekend, closing hundreds of miles of road and air travel cancellations.
US media also reported that over 3,100 flights have been cancelled and another 7,100 have been delayed across the US, with especially difficult situation reported in Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver.
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