Rescue workers in New York state on Monday worked to free residents affected by what officials called the “blizzard of the century,” which killed at least 25 people in the state and caused traffic chaos in the US in the run-up to Christmas.
Blizzard conditions are still intensifying in parts of the northeastern United States, the stubborn remnants of a massive eruption of extreme weather events that devastated the country for days and caused widespread power outages, travel delays and at least 50 deaths in nine states.
In upstate New York, authorities reported power outages for hours, bodies found in vehicles and under snow, and responders searched for other motorists — dead or alive.
A “perfect storm” of heavy snow, howling winds and freezing temperatures has caused more than 15,000 flight cancellations in recent days, including at least 2,600 on Monday, the website Flightaware.com reported.
BUFFALO — an Erie County city no stranger to cold weather — is the epicenter of the crisis, buried under dizzying amounts of snow.
The National Weather Service predicted up to 14 more inches Monday on top of the several meters of snow already buried in the city, and officials are scrambling to keep emergency services running.
Severe weather dropped below freezing in 48 U.S. states over the weekend, including in Texan communities along the Mexico border, where some newly arrived immigrants struggled to find housing.
On Saturday, nearly 1.7 million customers were without power due to the freezing temperatures, according to tracker poweroutage.us. About 50,000 homes on the US East Coast were without power as of Monday afternoon, but that number had dropped significantly.
Frozen substations Some Erie County residents are not expected to have power back until Tuesday after a substation is reportedly buried under 10 feet of snow, a senior county official said.
Buffalo International Airport will remain closed until Tuesday, and the city and much of Erie County will be under a driving ban.
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