The death toll from what is being called America’s ‘storm of the century’ has risen to 50 people.
Emergency crews are scrambling to rescue marooned residents during the relentless storm that has left 50 people dead across the United States and caused Christmas travel chaos.
The storm has gripped the country over several days, causing widespread power outages, travel delays and at least 50 deaths across nine states, according to official figures.
In New York state, authorities have described ferocious conditions, particularly in Buffalo, with hours-long whiteouts, bodies being discovered in vehicles and under snow banks, and emergency personnel going “car to car” searching for survivors.
The perfect storm of fierce snow squalls, howling wind and sub-zero temperatures forced the cancelation of more than 15,000 US flights in recent days, including nearly 4,000 yesterday, according to tracking site Flightaware.com.
The National Weather Service forecast up to 14 more inches of snow yesterday, in addition to the several feet that have already left the city buried, with officials struggling to get emergency services back online.
National Guard members and other teams have rescued hundreds of people from snow-covered cars and homes without electricity, but authorities have said more people remain trapped.
The extreme weather sent temperatures to below freezing in all 48 contiguous US states over the weekend, including in Texas communities along the Mexico border where some newly arriving migrants have struggled to find shelter.